'Well-being paradox' revisited: a cross-sectional study of quality of life in over 4000 adults with congenital heart disease

Caroline Sophie Andonian, Sebastian Freilinger, Stephan Achenbach, Peter Ewert, Ulrike Gundlach, Jürgen Hoerer, Harald Kaemmerer, Lars Pieper, Michael Weyand, Rhoia Clara Neidenbach, Jürgen Beckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective The present cross-sectional study investigated quality of life (QOL) in a large cohort of German adults with congenital heart disease (ACHDs) in association with patient-related and clinical variables. Design Cross-sectional survey. Participants Between 2016 and 2019, a representative sample of 4014 adults with various forms of congenital heart defect (CHD) was retrospectively analysed. Inclusion criteria were confirmed diagnosis of CHD; participant aged 18 years and older; and necessary physical, cognitive and language capabilities to complete self-report questionnaires. Primary and secondary outcome measures QOL was assessed using the 5-level EQ-5D version (EQ-5D-5L). Sociodemographic and medical information was obtained by a self-devised questionnaire. Associations of QOL with patient-reported clinical and sociodemographic variables were quantified using multiple regression analysis and multiple ordinal logit models. Results Overall, ACHDs (41.8±17.2 years, 46.5% female) reported a good QOL comparable to German population norms. The most frequently reported complaints occurred in the dimensions pain/discomfort (mean: 16.3, SD: p<0.001) and anxiety/depression (mean: 14.3, p<0.001). QOL differed significantly within ACHD subgroups, with patients affected by pretricuspid shunt lesions indicating the most significant impairments (p<0.001). Older age, female sex, medication intake and the presence of comorbidities were associated with significant reductions in QOL (p<0.001). CHD severity was positively associated with QOL within the dimensions of self-care (OR 0.148, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.58) and mobility (OR 0.384, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.76). Conclusion Current findings temper widely held assumptions among clinicians and confirm that ACHDs experience a generally good QOL. However, specific subgroups may require additional support to cope with disease-related challenges. The negative correlation of QOL with age is especially alarming as the population of ACHDs is expected to grow older in the future. Trial registration number DRKS00017699; Results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number049531
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • adult cardiology
  • cardiac epidemiology
  • congenital heart disease
  • epidemiology
  • mental health
  • preventive medicine

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