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Am J Cardiol. 2013 Apr 1;111(7):1046-51. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.12.025. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Hospitalizations and mortality in the United States for adults with Down syndrome and congenital heart disease.

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Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


Congenital heart disease (CHD) is common in patients with Down syndrome (DS), and these patients are living longer lives. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of hospitalizations in adults with DS and CHD in the United States. Hospitalizations from 1998 to 2009 for adults aged 18 to 64 years with and without DS with CHD diagnoses associated with DS (atrioventricular canal defect, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, and patent ductus arteriosus) were analyzed using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Outcomes of interest were (1) in-hospital mortality, (2) common co-morbidities, (3) cardiac procedures, (4) hospital charges, and (5) length of stay. Multivariate modeling adjusted for age, gender, CHD diagnosis, and co-morbidities. There were 78,793 ± 2,653 CHD admissions, 9,088 ± 351 (11.5%) of which were associated with diagnoses of DS. The proportion of admissions associated with DS (DS/CHD) decreased from 15.2 ± 1.3% to 8.5 ± 0.9%. DS was associated with higher in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4 to 2.4), especially in women (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.7 to 3.4). DS/CHD admissions were more commonly associated with hypothyroidism (OR 7.7, 95% CI 6.6 to 9.0), dementia (OR 82.0, 95% CI 32 to 213), heart failure (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.9 to 2.5), pulmonary hypertension (OR 2.5, 95% CI 2.2 to 2.9), and cyanosis or secondary polycythemia (OR 4.6, 95% CI 3.8 to 5.6). Conversely, DS/CHD hospitalizations were less likely to include cardiac procedures or surgery (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.4) and were associated with lower charges ($23,789 ± $1,177 vs $39,464 ± $1,371, p <0.0001) compared to non-DS/CHD admissions. In conclusion, DS/CHD hospitalizations represent a decreasing proportion of admissions for adults with CHD typical of DS; patients with DS/CHD are more likely to die during hospitalization but less likely to undergo a cardiac procedure.

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