Heart problems Heart problems are very common in people with Down syndrome and may affect children and adults. Roughly half of babies born with the condition will have a heart defect but less than one in five have a serious problem. Where children have a heart problem, it may be a relatively mild condition or it may be a more serious complication that means the child will need surgery. It is important to identify any serious problems in the first two months of life because early treatment may be needed. The UK Down’s Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) recommend that by 6 weeks of age a formal heart assessment including echocardiogram has been carried out which should identify nearly all serious problems. Regular medical reviews should be carried out throughout life. This will allow prompt diagnosis and management of previously undiagnosed cardiac disorders or new problems having developed.