Hospitals Seeing Rapidly Growing Numbers Of Adults With Congenital Heart Disease

Hospitals are treating increasing numbers of adults with congenital heart disease, thanks to tremendous progress in treatment for this condition in recent decades. A clear picture of this dramatic change emerges in a new study, presented at the ACC in San Francisco and published simultaneously in JAMA.

Jared O’Leary and colleagues analyzed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and compared congenital heart disease hospital admissions from 1998 through June 30, 2004, with those from July 1, 2004, through 2010. From the first period to the second, adult admissions grew much more rapidly than pediatric admissions.

  • Adult admissions increased by 87.8%, from 331,162 in the first half to 622,084 in the second half.
  • Pediatric admissions increased by 32.8%, from 815,471 to 1,082,540.

Adults constituted a growing percentage — from 28.9% to 36.5% — of congenital heart disease admissions.

The authors wrote that the “observed trend is likely due to a number of independent forces including better congenital heart disease survival, an aging population, and accumulating comorbidities. Limited availability of quality outpatient services may also contribute.”


  1. From what I understand, we Adult CHDers now outnumber the pediatric cases. We live now. Without my open heart surgery in 1982, I likely not have made it this far. Still in 2009, at 53, I had three admissions within two weeks before they got it all straightened out. I’ll be admitted again in a couple of years, just to replace my pacemaker. Crossing my fingers nothing else crops up. Between my rhythm issues and a semi-stressed pulmonary valve, who knows?

    I’m interested to know how many of the adult admissions were new diagnoses vs continuing care of previously treated CHD. I couldn’t glean that from the article.

  2. One aspect this that wasn’t mentioned in the post here is the important interaction between congenital heart disease and pregnancy. At our ‘high risk’ maternal cardiac clinic patients with CHD now constitute almost a half of new cases and this observation was shared by the recently published report on the Registry of Pregnancy and Cardiac Disease.

    This is a new, expanding and challenging aspect of modern cardiology practice. I posted about this here, last year –

  3. Reblogged this on TheLastGeneralCardiologist and commented:
    This is a post from CardioBrief – Important with respect to maternal heart disease. See this post

Speak Your Mind