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Malnutrition and growth failure in cyanotic and acyanotic congenital heart disease with and without pulmonary hypertension

Abstract

AIM To investigate the effect of several types of congenital heart disease (CHD) on nutrition and growth.

PATIENTS AND METHODS The prevalence of malnutrition and growth failure was investigated in 89 patients with CHD aged 1−45 months. They were grouped according to cardiac diagnosis: group aP (n = 26), acyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension; group ap (n = 5), acyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension; group cp (n = 42), cyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension; and group cP (n = 16), cyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension. Information on socioeconomic level, parental education status, birth weight and nutrition history, number of siblings, and the timing, quality, and quantity of nutrients ingested during weaning period and at the time of the examination were obtained through interviews with parents.

RESULTS There was no significant difference between groups in terms of parental education status, socioeconomic level, duration of breast feeding, and number of siblings (p > 0.05). Group cP patients ingested fewer nutrients for their age compared to other groups. 37 of the 89 patients were below the 5th centile for both weight and length, and 58 of 89 patients were below the 5th centile for weight. Mild or borderline malnutrition was more common in group aP patients. Most group cp patients were in normal nutritional state, and stunting was more common than wasting. Both moderate to severe malnutrition and failure to thrive were more common in group cP patients.

CONCLUSION Patients with CHD are prone to malnutrition and growth failure. Pulmonary hypertension appears to be the most important factor, and cyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension are the ones most severely affected. This study shows the additive effects of hypoxia and pulmonary hypertension on nutrition and growth of children with CHD.

  • congenital heart disease
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • cyanosis
  • malnutrition
  • growth failure

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