Article Abstract

Non-cardiac comorbidities in adults with inherited and congenital heart disease: report from a single center experience of more than 800 consecutive patients

Authors: Rhoia Clara Neidenbach, Eckart Lummert, Matthias Vigl, Reinhard Zachoval, Michael Fischereder, Andrea Engelhardt, Claudia Pujol, Renate Oberhoffer, Nicole Nagdyman, Peter Ewert, Michael Hauser, Harald Kaemmerer

Abstract

Background: As a result of improved surgical and therapeutical management, more than 90% of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) reach adulthood. However, the natural course of CHD is complicated by noncardiac medical problems. Aim of the study was to evaluate noncardiac comorbidities in a contemporary cohort of adults with CHD (ACHD).
Methods: In a tertiary care center for ACHD, 821 consecutive patients, admitted to the outpatient clinic, were evaluated for clinically relevant noncardiac comorbidities.
Results: The consecutively included patients (age: range, 15–80 years; 56% female) represent all types and severity grades of acyanotic and cyanotic CHD. A considerable proportion of ACHD had significant noncardiac comorbidities, which have the potential to profoundly influence the natural course of the underlying disease. In 95.5%, relevant non-cardiac comorbidities were apparent, that could be related to 16 special medical fields as endocrinologic/metabolic disease, gastroenterology/hepatology, gynecology/obstetrics, angiology, orthopedics, neurology/psychiatry and others. Most frequently seen comorbidities were endocrine and metabolic disorders (43.97%).
Conclusions: Non-cardiac comorbidities are increasingly common in ACHD. The data revealed non-cardiac comorbidities as they were presented in the cohort of ACHD seen in a tertiary center. The study proves that ACHD with significant non-cardiac comorbidities need multidisciplinary care by medical organ specialists, aside the congenital cardiologist, with a deep knowledge about congenital heart defects, the special effects of the organ disease on the particular heart defect and, how the heart defect may affect the course of the particular organ disease. The study may create the basis for the development of screening programs for comorbidities in ACHD as well as a multidisciplinary concept for diagnosis and treatment of concomitant disorders or for disease prevention. Particularly disease prevention may improve quality of life as well as the further fate of the affected patients.