Development in paediatric and interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery resulted in an increase in the number and average age of adult congenital heart disease patients. Comorbidities may appear with increased age leading to new challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of this complex group of patients.
The aim of this study is to compare clinical and echocardiographic parameters in adult congenital heart disease patients under our care below the age of 40 years, between 40 and 59 years and above the age of 60 years.
Data of a total of 346 patients were analyzed; 154 patients were under 40 years of age, 133 patients were between 40 and 59 years of age, and 59 patients were 60 years old or older. All adult congenital heart disease patients who underwent an outpatient examination were included in the study. As part of the physical examination, the New York Heart Association (NYHA) clinical classification of heart failure was determined, electrocardiography, echocardiography and 6-minute walk test were performed.
Above the age of 40, the ratio of comorbidities increased, significantly more patients were classified into NYHA functional classes III-IV and the ratio of patients having a left ventricular ejection fraction below 55% significantly increased. The prevalence of arrhythmia was similar in all age groups, but an increasing tendency could be seen with age.
There is a growing number of elderly adult congenital heart disease patients with comorbidities that play an important role in the management and in the outcome of congenital heart disease. New protocols and recommendations are required in the follow-up of these patients to help determining the optimal time for reoperation, intervention or heart transplantation. Orv Hetil. 2023; 164(6): 219-226.