Congenital heart disease
The UK NSC policy on Congenital heart disease screening in newborns
Congenital heart anomalies affect about 8 in 1000 (approx. 1%) new born babies. In the vast majority of cases the cause of the anomaly is not known. In families where there is an affected child there is usually only a slight increase in risk with future pregnancies of around 3%. In some families with a recognised genetic cause, the risk of recurrent heart problems in future pregnancy is much higher.
Congenital heart disease screening is part of the physical examination of newborn babies and again at 6-8 weeks.
A Programme Centre has been set up in England and all aspects of the examination are being reviewed.
This is a new policy. It is due to be reviewed in 2014/15, or earlier if significant new evidence emerges.
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
Evidence Supporting the Policy
It is the subject of an Health Technology Assessment (HTA) systematic review published in Nov 2005:
Health Technology Assessment 2005; Vol 9: No. 44. Newborn screening for congenital heart defects: a systematic review and cost-effectiveness analysis (Knowles et al).
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.