Boukovala M; Müller J; Ewert P; Hager A;
The American Journal Of Cardiology [Am J Cardiol] 2019 Jan 08. Date of Electronic Publication: 2019 Jan 08.
With rising survival rates of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD), functional health variables have become the key aspect in treatment evaluation. The effectiveness of various treatment options on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and the objectively measured exercise capacity as peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) remains rather unclear and hence, its investigation is the primary aim of this study. Data from 1014 patients (≥14-years-old, various CHD) were retrospectively reviewed. The patients had completed at least twice the SF-36 questionnaire on HRQoL prior to a cardiopulmonary exercise test. Each patient was assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups (i.e., surgery, catheter intervention, drug therapy, and surveillance) according to the received treatment between the baseline and the follow-up examination. After 4.0 ± 2.2 years of follow-up, patients with surgery and catheter intervention showed an increase in the physical summary score of HRQoL as compared to the other treatment groups (p <0.001). This effect remained also significant in a multivariable model accounting for anthropometric and baseline data. No significant differences in the mental summary score of HRQoL and the VO2 peak were evident between the different treatment groups in the multivariable model. No significant correlation was found between the changes in HRQoL and VO2 peak over time. In conclusion, despite insignificant changes in aerobic capacity, adolescents and adults with CHD report better physical HRQoL following surgery and catheter intervention compared to the other treatment options. HRQoL and exercise capacity need to be considered concurrently in the evaluation of adolescents and adults with CHD.