What other heart complications do people with coarctation of the aorta sometimes have?

People born with coarctation of the aorta sometimes have other congenital heart problems too. Because some problems can develop over time, it is important that you visit your cardiac clinic for check ups throughout your life. Your specialist health team will tell you how often you should go.

If you have a repaired coarctation of the aorta you still need to look after yourself. Like everyone else, you should eat healthily and avoid smoking.

Other problems that people born with coarctation of the aorta might have or develop later on

Ventricular septal defect or VSD

Some people born with a coarctation of the aorta are also born with a hole between the main pumping chambers in the heart. This is called ventricular septal defect or VSD.

Watch an animation explaining VSD

Aortic stenosis

If born with a coarctation of the aorta, you might also have a narrowing of one of the heart valves called aortic stenosis

Hypertension

As people with coarctation of the aorta get older, they sometimes develop high blood pressure – this is called hypertension. This can happen, even if you have had a successful operation. You can be given drugs to control this.

Recoarctation of the aorta

Even if you’ve had an operation to repair your aorta, the aorta might narrow again. This is called recoarctation of the aorta.

Chromosome abnormality

Sometimes people with coarctation of the aorta have it because of a chromosomal abnormality called Turner syndrome. This is where there is a missing sex chromosome (an X chromosome). It only affects girls and women, and can be picked up at birth, and in some cases before birth while in the womb.

Find out more about Turner syndrome