Heart disease that develops after birth can be described as acquired heart disease in contrast to congenital heart disease which is present at birth.
Acquired heart disease is much more prevalent in adults than children but two of the most common heart conditions acquired during childhood are rheumatic heart disease and Kawasaki disease.
Rheumatic heart disease is the result of rheumatic fever caused by streptococcal bacteria. Most likely to strike children between 5 and 15 years old, rheumatic fever can scar heart valves to the point where they may not function properly.
Kawasaki disease primarily occurs in children under the age of 5, and causes inflammation of the blood vessels that can result in damage to the coronary arteries and a widening of the vessel called an aneurysm.