Does having a congenital heart problem lead to high blood pressure?

Q: I had an SVASD with a PAPVR repaired in 1960 through open heart surgery. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with high BP and suffered a stroke. Do adults with congenital birth defects that were repaired as children have a higher incidence of high blood pressure? Was my high BP caused by the stroke?

A: Having a congenital heart problem increases the risk of heart related disease in adulthood. Surgical repair should not be viewed as a cure but rather as a method to restore more normal function. Lifelong regular check-ups with a physician are recommended. Without knowing if your stroke was caused by bleeding or by an emboli getting lodged in a blood vessel, it is impossible to know if your hypertension contributed to your stroke.

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