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Symptoms differ for each congenital defect. Small defects may produce no symptoms. In septal defects, common symptoms are heart murmur or palpitations, fatigue and shortness of breath. Aortic coarctation may cause dizziness, fainting, fatigue, chest pain, headache, nosebleeds and cold feet. Valve defects produce symptoms associated with valve disease such as fatigue, murmurs and palpitations, and chest pain.

Symptoms of congenital heart defects can gradually worsen in adulthood and lead to chronic problems such as heart failure, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), stroke, arrhythmias or other complications.