Purpose: Overall infant mortality rates in the US have demonstrated a downward trend, however, rates related to congenital heart disease (CHD) in particular remain undefined. We sought to specifically examine the recent trends in infant mortality secondary to CHD in the US over the past few years. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of infant mortality rates due to CHD over a 16-year period (1999-2015). Using infant death records linked with births in the United States (1999-2015), we selected all infants who died from congenital heart disease (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision: Q20-Q26) and analyzed the trends in infant CHD mortality and subtypes. Results: Between 1999 and 2015, there were 450,043 infant deaths, of which 25,602 (5.7%) were due to CHD. The incidence of CHD mortality was 0.37 per 1000 births and 57 per 1000 infant deaths. The incidence of infant CHD mortality, per 1000 births, decreased from 0.45 in 1999 to 0.33 in 2015, and from 64 to 56 per 1000 infant deaths. Rates were noted to be higher in infants born to black/African American mothers (0.47) compared with white mothers (0.36) per 1000 births. The incidence of CHD mortality increased with age from 0.01 per 1000 births Conclusion: Congenital heart disease is responsible for 1 in 18 infant deaths in the US. CHD mortality in the US has declined by 26% in the past two decades, possibly owing to advances in infant cardiac interventions and improved care of premature births. Despite the decline in CHD mortality, significant racial disparities still exist.

Figure 2

CHD Mortality by Diagnosis

Figure 2

CHD Mortality by Diagnosis

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