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The Children’s Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association announced their latest collaborative investment in research to better understand and treat congenital heart defects (CHDs), the number one birth defect in the United States. This is the fourth round of their co-funded Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards program and represents a $826,600 investment in seven research programs from around the country. The program will ultimately fund more than $22 million in CHD-specific research through 2021.

At least 40,000 infants are estimated to be affected by congenital heart defects each year in the United States. About 25 percent of babies born in the U.S. with a CHD require invasive treatment in their first year of life. Research that helps understand, identify and treat CHDs is helping these children live longer healthier lives. Today, it is estimated that more than 800,000 American adults are living with a CHD.

“We are honored and excited to continue our research funding partnership with the American Heart Association," said Tamara Thomas, President of The Children’s Heart Foundation. "Through this collaboration and our ongoing commitment to research focused on congenital heart defects, we strive to make a lasting impact in the lives of those with congenital heart defects. This $826,600 of new research will help bring innovative solutions to survival rates and care.”

The seven new grants are:

“By funding research into what causes congenital heart defects and how to better treat people living with them, we are laying the groundwork for more children to survive into healthy adulthoods,” says Bradley S. Marino MD, MPP, MSCE, congenital heart defect specialist, American Heart Association Chair of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, member of The Children’s Heart Foundation Medical Advisory Board, and AHA and CHF funded scientist.

Scientists who are conducting research on congenital heart defects to advance knowledge for prevention and treatment are encouraged to submit applications for the next round of funding.