To examine the survival of infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and potential influence of demographic and clinical characteristics on survival using population-based data.


Infants with nonsyndromic HLHS (n = 212) born between 1979 and 2005 were identified through the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program. Vital status was ascertained through 2009 based on linkage with vital records. We estimated Kaplan-Meier survival probabilities stratified by select demographic and clinical characteristics.


The overall survival probability to 2009 was 24% and significantly improved over time: from 0% in 1979–1984 to 42% in 1999–2005. Survival probability was 66% during the first week, 27% during the first year of life, and 24% during the first 10 years. Survival of very low and low birth weight or preterm infants and those born in high-poverty neighborhoods was significantly poorer. For children with information on surgical intervention (n = 88), the overall survival was 52%, and preterm infants had significantly poorer survival (31%) compared with term infants (56%). For children who survived to 1 year of age, long-term survival was ∼90%.


Survival to adolescence of children with nonsyndromic HLHS born in metropolitan Atlanta has significantly improved in recent years, with those born full term, with normal birth weight, or in a low-poverty neighborhood having a higher survival probability. Survival beyond infancy to adolescence is high. A better understanding of the growing population of survivors with HLHS is needed to inform resource planning.

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