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Heart disease No. 1 killer of Chinese babies

(Shanghai Daily)

16:29, October 22, 2012

CONGENITAL heart disease is the top killer of newborn babies in China due to high incidence and inadequate treatment, doctors said at a meeting on establishing an expert commission for the disease under the Chinese Medical Doctor Association's pediatrician branch.

Each year about 150,000 children are born with congenital heart disease in China. The incidence rate is 0.7 to 0.8 percent. But fewer than half of the children received proper and timely treatment, especially those in remote areas, Dr Sun Kun from Shanghai Xinhua Hospital said.

"Early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment," he said. "In places like Shanghai, a heart scan that costs a little more than 100 yuan can detect congenital heart disease even the baby is still in the womb. However, delayed diagnosis for children in remote areas means they miss the best opportunity for treatment."

The commission said it will provide training to doctors, especially those in rural areas, to give them skills to detect and treat congenital heart disease.
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