Does Previous Cardiac Surgery Predict Impaired Quality of Life in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease?

Wang QF, Rouse S, Hay M, Menahem S.World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2020 May;11(3):304-309. doi: 10.1177/2150135120908185.PMID: 32293999



Background: Improved survival of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) into adult life has led to further study of their quality of life (QoL) and its determinants. The QoL including the symptoms of anxiety and depression of adults with CHD was analyzed to determine the relationship, if any, between prior cardiac surgery and QoL.

Methods: Adults with CHD who were recruited from a single community-based cardiology practice completed self-reported questionnaires on their QoL, which included symptoms of anxiety and depression. Standard linear regression analysis was used to determine whether prior cardiac surgery predicted lower QoL scores.

Results: One hundred forty-nine adult patients with CHD were sent QoL questionnaires. Completed questionnaires were received from 135 patients: 71 (53%) males and 64 (47%) females, with a mean age of 26.3 years (standard deviation: 7.8, min: 17, max: 49). Respondents were assigned to two groups: those who had (n = 89, 66%) or had not (n = 46, 34%) previously undergone one or more cardiac surgical interventions. Results from standard linear regression analyses revealed no predictive relationship between history of previous cardiac surgery, whether one or more operations, and QoL.

Conclusions: Among adult patients with CHD who completed QoL questionnaires, we observed no association between a patient’s history of prior cardiac surgery and self-reported QoL measures. This welcome and important finding may be a reflection of the good functional capacity of both groups (postsurgical and nonsurgical) irrespective of the original CHD diagnosis and need for surgical intervention.