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Progress in the management of complex congenital heart disease (CHD) led to an improvement in survival rates of adults with a Fontan-like circulation. The objective of this study was to assess the subjective health status and quality of life of this population.
Methods and results:
Patients aged more than 18 years at the time of the study, who underwent a Fontan-like procedure. Subjective health status was assessed by the SF-36 questionnaire and a linear analog scale was used to score patients’ self-perception of their quality of life; cardiac and demographic parameters were collected.
Among 65 eligible patients, 60 (23 females; mean ± SD age: 25.7 ± 7.2 years) answered the SF-36 questionnaire and 46 of these were interviewed to evaluate their perceived quality of life. Among them, 20 (33.3%) were working full-time and 21 (35%) experienced arrhythmias. The physical SF-36 scores were lower in patients than in the general population (p ≤ 0.05). The New York Hear Association (NYHA) class and occupation were correlated with SF-36 scores of physical activity (respectively, p = 0.0001 and p = 0.025). SF-36 scores of psychological status were associated with the number of drugs and occupation (respectively, p = 0.0001 and p = 0.02). The mean ± SD quality of life score measured using a linear analog scale was 7.02 ± 1.6 and was linked to education and occupation (p ≤ 0.05) but not with cardiac parameters.
Adult Fontan patients perceive an impaired physical health but report a good overall quality of life. Education and occupation impacts significantly on Fontan patients’ quality of life.
The adult CHD population is increasing and ageing and remains at high risk for morbidity and mortality. In a retrospective single-centre study, we conducted a comprehensive review of non-elective hospitalisations of adults with CHD and explored factors associated with length of stay.
We identified adults (⩾18 years) with CHD admitted during a 12-month period and managed by the adult CHD service. Data regarding demographics, cardiac history, hospital admission, resource utilisation, and length of stay were extracted.
There were 103 admissions of 91 patients (age 37±10 years; 52% female). Of 91 patients, 96% had moderate or complex defects. Of 103 admissions, 45% were through the emergency department. The most common reasons for admission were arrhythmia (37%) and heart failure (28%); 29% of admissions included a stay in the ICU. The mean number of consultations by other services was 2.0. Electrophysiology and anaesthesiology departments were most frequently consulted. After removing outliers, the mean length of stay was 7.9±7.4 days (median=5 days). The length of stay was longer for patients admitted for heart failure (12.2±10.3 days; p=0.001) and admitted directly to the ward (9.6±8.9 days; p=0.009).
Among non-electively hospitalised adults with CHD in a tertiary-care centre, management often entails an interdisciplinary approach, and the length of stay is longest for patients admitted with heart failure. The healthcare system must ensure optimal resources to maintain high-quality care for this expanding patient population.
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