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Pediatrics. 2007 Nov;120(5):e1157-64.

Obesity is a common comorbidity in children with congenital and acquired heart disease.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Obesity may pose additional cardiovascular risk to children with acquired and congenital heart disease. Many children with heart disease are sedentary as a result of physician-, parent-, and/or self-imposed restrictions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the epidemic of obesity on children with heart disease.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional review was performed of children evaluated in 2004 at 2 cardiology outpatient clinics. Differences in the prevalence of obese (BMI > or = 95%) and overweight (BMI 85%-95%) children were compared with national data and healthy control subjects. Dictated letters were reviewed to determine whether obesity was discussed with referring practitioners.

RESULTS:

Of 2921 patients assessed, 1523 had heart disease. Diagnostic subgroups included "mild" heart disease (n = 401), arrhythmia (n = 447), biventricular repair (n = 511), univentricular palliation (Fontan; n = 108), and heart transplantation (n = 56). More than 25% of the patients with heart disease were obese or overweight; the prevalence of obese and overweight children was significantly lower only in the Fontan group (15.9%). Pediatric cardiologists failed to document obesity or weight counseling in the majority of clinic letters.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity is common in children with congenital and acquired heart disease. Pediatric cardiologists demonstrate inadequate communication regarding this problem to referring practitioners. Healthy-lifestyle counseling and routine exercise in children with heart disease may be underemphasized.

PMID:
17974711
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2007-0306
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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