Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test and Daily Physical Activity in Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease: An Exploratory Analysis.

Hock J; Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Technische Universität München.
Brudy L; Willinger L; Hager A; Ewert P;Oberhoffer-Fritz R; Müller J

The American journal of cardiology [Am J Cardiol] 2024 Jun 17.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Jun 17.

Sedentary lifestyle is reported to be associated with diminished exercise capacity resulting in increased cardiovascular risk in adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). This cross-sectional study examined the association between objectively measured physical activity (PA) and exercise capacity in children and adolescents with CHD. Therefore, 107 patients (13.0 ± 2.7 years, 41 girls) with various CHD performed a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) to quantify their peakV’O2. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and daily step count were assessed with “Garmin vivofit jr.®” for 7 consecutive days. For association between PA and (sub-) maximal exercise capacity Spearman’s correlation was performed. CHD patients showed almost normal values compared to reference (79.5 ± 17.2% [31.6-138.1] %peakV’O2 predicted) with roughly normal ventilatory anaerobic thresholds (50.6±14.0% [20.3-97.9] %VATV’O2). Step counts are below recommendations (9,304 ± 3,792 steps/day [1,701-20,976]), whereas MVPA data are above recommendations for children with ≥ 60min/day (83.6 ± 34.6 min/day [10.1-190.9]). Spearman’s Rho showed significant positive correlations to VATV’O2 (r=0.353, p<0.001), and %VATV’O2 (r=0.307, p=0.001) with similar results regarding MVPA (VATV’O2: r=0.300, p=0.002, and %VATV’O2: r=0.270, p=0.005). Concluding, submaximal exercise capacity and PA correlate positively making both assessments relevant in a clinical setting – PA in the context of cardiovascular prevention and peakV’O2 as the strongest predictor for morbidity and mortality.