Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic
Loma Linda University International Heart Institute (LLUIHI) is proud to announce the launch of a new subspecialty clinic for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD). This is the first clinic of its kind in the Inland Empire and functions by complementing the excellent care already received by local primary care physicians and cardiology providers. Through existing cardiovascular service lines at Loma Linda, patients will have access to all the unique capabilities of a quaternary referral center such as cutting-edge catheter-based interventions, surgical techniques, novel devices, heart transplantation and clinical trials.
There is a growing number of congenital heart disease patients reaching adulthood and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic at the International Heart Institute provides a comprehensive approach to meet the unique needs of this population. Less than 10% of adults with congenital heart disease in the United States are receiving this much needed specialty care. According to a recent study, referral to specialized-ACHD care was independently associated with improved survival.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is present at birth and includes issues with the heart’s structure, such as holes in the heart or misplaced, malformed, and/or missing valves, vessels and heart chambers. Heart defects are among the most common birth defects, with nearly one in 100 babies born with some kind of heart defect. As there is no system in place to report on CHD from childhood into adulthood, it is estimated that there may be close to three million individuals living in the United States with CHD today.
Health Conditions in Conjunction with ACHD
According to professional guidelines, all individuals born with moderate or complex congential heart disease should be seen regularly by heart specialists specifically trained in CHD. Common long-term problems of congenitalheart disease include developmental delay, difficulty with exercise, heart rhythm problems, heart failure, premature cardiovascular death, sudden cardiac arrest and stroke. Compared to the general population, adults with CHD have 3-4 times higher rates of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays. As life spans increase, patients with CHD develop new problems such as high blood pressure, obesity and acquired heart disease.
The Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic at LLUIHI provides world class, coordinated care with a multidisciplinary team approach including services for high risk obstetrics, electrophysiology (heart rhythm disorders), heart catheterization (valve implantation, septal defect closure, treatment of narrowed valves or arteries), heart failure, echocardiography, heart transplant and cardiac surgery.