Incidence and Mortality of Adults With Pulmonary Hypertension and Congenital Heart Disease

Am J Cardiol. 2018 Jun 15;121(12):1610-1616. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.02.051. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


Reports on pulmonary hypertension (PH) in the aging congenital heart disease (CHD) population are few and focused on arterial PH and patients with systemic-to-pulmonary shunts. Our objective was to estimate incidence and mortality of adult-onset PH in the CHD population. Using Danish nationwide registries, we identified all patients diagnosed with CHD from 1963 to 1974 and 1977 to 2012. Patients were matched 1:10 by birth year and gender with general population subjects. Between 1977 and 2013 adults >18 years of age were followed up until PH diagnosis, death, or emigration, whichever came first, using data from the Danish National Registry of Patients. We computed cumulative incidences of PH. Using Cox regression, we compared the mortality rate between CHD subjects with and without PH matched by gender and birth year. We identified 14,860 patients with CHD. At 70 years of age, their overall cumulative incidence of PH was 7.2% (8.3% in those with systemic-to-pulmonary shunts and 5.3% in those without) compared with 0.4% in the general population. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year mortality for adults with CHD and PH was 24%, 44%, and 52%, respectively. This represented a 4-fold (95% confidence interval 3.3 to 5.6) increase in mortality compared with adults with CHD without PH after adjusting for gender, birth year, CHD severity, and presence of extracardiac defects. In conclusion the incidence of PH was substantially increased in adults with CHD relative to the general population. Of note, the increased incidence was not limited to those with a history of systemic-to-pulmonary shunts. PH was associated with increased mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortopulmonary Septal Defect / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Double Outlet Right Ventricle / epidemiology
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Septal Defects / epidemiology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / epidemiology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / epidemiology
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect