The prevalence of congenital heart disease among adults in Europe, or in any country in Europe, is not known. This is due to a lack of agreement on the incidence of congenital heart disease, with estimations varying from four per 1000 births to 50 per 1000 births, and it is not known how many patients with congenital heart disease have died. Based on several studies that estimated and calculated the number of adult patients with congenital heart disease, the number of patients should be much higher than the number of patients that are actually seen in specialized centres throughout Europe. This implies that either a large proportion of adult patients with congenital heart disease do not receive appropriate medical care, or that the calculations and estimations are grossly wrong. A combination of the two is also possible. A substantial expansion of the number and size of specialized centres for adult congenital heart disease is advocated, but since setting up (and running) a service for this disease is a costly affair, and because uncertainty remains about the actual number of patients needing specialized care, this has been difficult to realize in most European countries in the past few years. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS.
Meijboom, F., & Mulder, B. (2010, June). Problems in the organization of care for patients with adult congenital heart disease. Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acvd.2010.03.010