May 25, 2023

What is the most common congenital heart defect in adults?

Congenital heart defects are a leading cause of death and illness in adults, affecting more than 1 million people in the United States every year. While there is a wide range of congenital heart defects, some are more common than others. In this blog post, we’ll explore what the most common congenital heart defect in adults is, as well as the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments available. We’ll also look at ways to reduce the risk of developing a congenital heart defect and how to best manage them if they do occur.

Atrial septal defect

Atrial septal defect, or ASD, is the most common congenital heart defect in adults. Affecting about 1 in every 500 people, ASD occurs when there is a hole in the wall between the right and left atria, or upper chambers, of the heart. This hole allows blood to flow from the left atrium to the right atrium, and can cause problems with blood flow and pressure in the heart.

ASD can be diagnosed with a physical exam, echocardiogram, or cardiac MRI. Treatment for ASD usually involves surgery to close the hole in the heart. In some cases, medication may be used to manage symptoms.

Ventricular septal defect

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is the most common congenital heart defect in adults. It is a hole in the wall between the two ventricles of the heart. This hole allows blood to flow from the left ventricle to the right ventricle, and back again. As a result, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body.

VSDs can be acquired or present at birth. They can also be caused by other congenital heart defects, such as patent foramen ovale (PFO) or atrial septal defect (ASD). VSDs are often asymptomatic, but they can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat.

VSDs can be repaired surgically, but many people with VSDs live normal, healthy lives without treatment. If you have a VSD, it’s important to see your doctor regularly and to take care of your heart health by eating well and exercising regularly.

Patent foramen ovale

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a small hole in the heart that usually closes before birth. If it doesn’t close, it’s called a PFO. About 25 percent of people have a PFO. Most people with a PFO don’t have any symptoms and don’t need treatment.

A PFO can cause problems if blood clots form in the veins and travel to the lungs. This is called pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE can be life-threatening. People with a PFO who have had a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack or TIA) are at risk for having another stroke. Treatment for a PFO is aimed at preventing strokes.

Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect that is most common in adults. It is a combination of four heart defects: pulmonic stenosis, ventricular septal defect, right ventricular hypertrophy, and dextroposition of the aorta. This condition can be mild or severe, and can lead to heart failure or death if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.

Adults with congenital heart defects

There are many different types of congenital heart defects, and the most common one differs depending on the age of the affected individual. In adults, the most common type of congenital heart defect is called aortic stenosis.

Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the aortic valve (which controls blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body) is narrower than normal. This narrowing can cause problems with blood flow and may eventually lead to heart failure. Aortic stenosis is usually diagnosed in adulthood, after symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath develop.

While aortic stenosis is the most common type of congenital heart defect in adults, there are many other possible defects that can occur. Some other examples include pulmonic stenosis (a narrowing of the pulmonary valve), patent foramen ovale (a hole in the heart that allows blood to mix between the chambers), and coarctation of the aorta (a narrowing of the aorta). Congenital heart defects are often complex, and affected individuals may have more than one defect present.


Congenital heart defects are more common than many realize, and they can range from mild to severe. The most common congenital heart defect in adults is a patent foramen ovale (PFO). This is an opening between the right and left atria of the heart that did not close after birth, which increases the risk of stroke. As with any health issue, it’s important to discuss your risks with your doctor so they can recommend an appropriate course of action. With proper diagnosis and treatment, adults with PFO may be able to lead healthy lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *