Background: Identify demographic and medical status indicators that account for variability in physical and emotional health-related quality of life (QoL) among young adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) as compared to traditional lesion severity categories.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 218 young adult survivors of CHD (mean=25.7, SD=7.1 years). Participants were recruited from pediatric and adult CHD clinics at a pediatric and an adult hospital. Stepwise linear regression examined the unique contribution of demographic (age; sex; estimated income) and medical status indicators (comorbid conditions; treatment modality; ventricular function/functional capacity) on QoL compared to traditional lesion severity categories (simple; moderate; complex).
Results: Lesion severity category accounted for a small portion of the variance in physical QoL (3%), but was not associated with emotional QoL. Lesion severity did not significantly contribute to the variability in physical QoL once other variables were entered. Having an estimated income of ≤$30,000, taking more than one cardiac-related medication, and having a New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class designation>I was associated with poorer physical QoL and explained 23% of the variability. NYHA class was the only variable that explained a unique proportion of variance (7%) in emotional QoL, and having a NYHA class designation>I was associated with greater risk for poorer emotional functioning.
Conclusions: Findings suggested that several indicators readily available to treatment teams may provide important information about the risk for poor patient-reported outcomes of physical and emotional QoL among CHD survivors.
Keywords: Congenital heart defects; Quality of life.
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