AHA Unveils New Guidelines for People Over 40 with Congenital Heart Disease

The American Heart Association recently released new guidelines for treating adults over age 40 with congenital heart disease who may develop cardiovascular problems linked to the condition or past treatments. The recommendations, reported in the journal Circulation, cover exercise, sexual activity, cardiac monitoring and use of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women.

“These patients often have a sense that their heart has been ‘fixed’ and they don’t need follow-up,” said Dr. Ami Bhatt, lead author of the recommendations and director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “However, in adulthood they can develop complications from the underlying disease or the heart repairs that kept them alive as children. Therefore, these adults need lifelong cardiac care.”

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