The American Heart Association (AHA) has issued their first scientific statement on the diagnosis and management of patients over the age of 40 with congenital heart disease (CHD), which is designed to complement the 2008 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/AHA guidelines for adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD).

The statement emphasizes that this population is unique and distinct from both pediatric and young adult populations with CHD, thus requiring specialized diagnosis and treatment. Some ACHD may be symptomatic, but not diagnosed until after childhood. ACHD may also develop acquired cardiovascular so controlling for risk factors like overweight, diabetes, blood pressure, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle should be included in a treatment plan.

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The statement also includes information for clinicians on treating CHD patients with comorbidities such as cancer, lung, kidney, or liver disease. Patients are encouraged to pass along records of their childhood diagnoses and corrective surgeries to their present clinicians.

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