Hemphill NM, Kuan MTY, Harris KC.Can J Cardiol. 2020 May 5:S0828-282X(20)30440-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2020.04.038. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32387502 Free PMC article.
Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at risk for both COVID-19 and secondary cardiovascular outcomes. Their increased cardiovascular risk may be mitigated through physical activity, but public health measures implemented for COVID-19 can make physical activity challenging. We objectively measured the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity, continuously measured by Fitbit step counts, in children with CHD. Step counts were markedly lower in late March and early April 2020, compared with 2019 and early March 2020. It is vital to understand how precautions for COVID-19 will affect the health of children with CHD, especially if they persist long term.
Figure 1 Weekly Fitbit step counts in 2019 and 2020. Weeks run Monday to Sunday. Week 1 in 2019 began on December 31, 2018, and in 2020 on December 30, 2019. Dots (blue = 2019; orange = 2020) indicate individual participants’ weekly average step counts, lines show the line of best fit for each year, and shading indicates the standard error. The red dashed line indicates 12,000 steps, which approximates the Canadian physical activity guidelines (60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity)., Weekly step counts were significantly lower in 2020 than in 2019 in weeks 13 (March 23-29, 2020; P = 0.03) and 14 (March 30-April 5, 2020; P = 0.01). Weekly step counts for weeks 13 (P < 0.001) and 14 (P = 0.02) in 2020 were also lower than week 11 (March 9-15, 2020) of the same year. ∗P < 0.05; ∗∗P < 0.001.
Figure 2 Daily Fitbit step counts and important COVID-19–related dates in 2020. Dots indicate individual participants’ daily step count, the black line shows the line of best fit, and shading indicates the standard error. The blue dashed line indicates 12,000 steps, which approximates the Canadian physical activity guidelines (60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity)., The vertical red lines show important dates related to COVID-19: March 11, World Health Organisation declared pandemic; March 17, British Columbia declared a public health emergency, ordered physical distancing, and suspended K-12 schools.