19 doctors weighed in:

My mother was born with a hole in her heart. What are the chances it will be passed down to me or my kids?

19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pam Yoder
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
10 doctors agree

In brief: <3 affects >1 person

Doctors need to know this history when seeing patients.
There is an increased risk (generally 3-4%) that offspring will have some type of heart defect if there is a close family member with congenital heart defect. Risk is high enough that special ultrasound imaging of the heart by a cardiologist (for women before pregnancy if possible) and by perinatologist (for 20wk fetus) may be recommended.

In brief: <3 affects >1 person

Doctors need to know this history when seeing patients.
There is an increased risk (generally 3-4%) that offspring will have some type of heart defect if there is a close family member with congenital heart defect. Risk is high enough that special ultrasound imaging of the heart by a cardiologist (for women before pregnancy if possible) and by perinatologist (for 20wk fetus) may be recommended.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Dr. Pam Yoder
Thank
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
8 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

Simple heart defects have a diluted genetic effect with < 4% risk of passing a defect down(not necessarily the same defect) if the parent has a heart defect that is complex, and other family members have defects the numbers go up.
You can schedule a visit with a geneticist. A family tree eval will identify any genetic issues you need to consider. Overall risk of unexpected preg outcome runs 3-4%.

In brief: Depends

Simple heart defects have a diluted genetic effect with < 4% risk of passing a defect down(not necessarily the same defect) if the parent has a heart defect that is complex, and other family members have defects the numbers go up.
You can schedule a visit with a geneticist. A family tree eval will identify any genetic issues you need to consider. Overall risk of unexpected preg outcome runs 3-4%.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Subir Mitra
Yes, the chances for a simple heart defect to be carried on to your children is very low.
Dr. Janesta Noland
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

Some heart defects are genetic and can be passed down.
Others are not. In the case of a significant defect in your family, you may want to seek genetic counseling before getting pregnant.

In brief: Depends

Some heart defects are genetic and can be passed down.
Others are not. In the case of a significant defect in your family, you may want to seek genetic counseling before getting pregnant.
Dr. Janesta Noland
Dr. Janesta Noland
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Cindy Juster
Board Certified, Pediatrics
33 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors