Congenital heart disease may alter growth patterns

Children with congenital heart disease are more likely to fall behind in expected growth patterns than children who do not, according to study data published online.

Carrie Daymont, MD, MSCE, of the department of pediatrics and child health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues reported data from a retrospective matched cohort study that looked at children born 2000 to Jan. 31, 2009, who had congenital heart disease and who were seen by clinicians in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

According to the researchers, of the 856 children, 608 required no repair, 52 required complex repair and 159 required simple repair. Thirty-seven of the children had single ventricle physiology, they wrote.

The researchers reported simultaneous decreased growth trajectory across head circumference, weight and length for children in the single ventricle and repair categories, with children in the repair categories being much more likely to fall below the third percentile.

“The extent to which the poor growth seen in children with congenital heart disease is caused by potentially modifiable factors, such as the amount and type of nutrition support, medical treatment of congenital heart disease, and timing of surgical repair, is unclear,” the researchers wrote. “Additional observational studies would provide information to allow appropriate design of randomized controlled trials.”

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