Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common developmental anomalies and are the leading noninfectious cause of mortality in newborn babies. It has been estimated that between four and ten live-born infants per 1000 have a cardiac malformation (0.4 to 1.0%), 40% of which are diagnosed in the first year of life. The European Registration of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT) reported a prevalence of 58.9/10,000 live births in the northern part of the Netherlands (0.6%). Hoffman estimated that the true prevalence of CHD may be as high as 53 per 1000 pregnancies (5.3%), including a 20% occurrence of heart defects in spontaneous abortion, a 10% occurrence in stillbirth, and a 1% occurrence in live birth
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