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Congenit Heart Dis. 2011 May-Jun;6(3):241-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2011.00522.x. Epub 2011 May 5.

The impact of obesity on early postoperative outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease.

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  • 1The Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, The Heart Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.



As the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, it now includes the growing number of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). This particular obese patient population may pose additional intraoperative as well as postoperative challenges that may contribute to poor outcomes. Our aims were to determine the influence of obesity on morbidity and mortality in adults with CHD undergoing surgical repair at a free standing children's hospital.


A retrospective analysis of adult (≥18 years) CHD surgery cases from 2002 to 2008 was performed. Congenital heart lesions were defined as mild, moderate, or complex. Patients were categorized by body mass index (BMI): underweight (BMI < 20 kg/m(2)), normal (BMI 20-24.9 kg/m(2)), overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m(2)), and obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Demographics, incidence of mortality, or specific morbidities were statistically compared using Fisher's exact test and analyses of variance (anovas).


In this population (n = 165), overweight (29%) and obese (22%) patients were prevalent. Hypertension (HTN) and pre-HTN were more prevalent in obese and overweight patients. Postoperative renal dysfunction was observed in obese patients with complex CHD (P = .04). Mortality was not different among groups.


Obesity is becoming increasingly common among adults with CHD. Despite marginal evidence of postoperative renal complications in obese patients with CHD of severe complexity, the overall presence of obesity did not influence mortality or short term postoperative morbidities.

© 2011 Copyright the Authors. Congenital Heart Disease © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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