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Physicians mending broken hearts
Date:3/29/2009

Pediatric surgeons are able to repair complex heart defects with a survival rate of greater than 90 percent, but that doesn't necessarily mean a happy ending for these children and teens. Some may have a great quality of life and others, with the same condition, may not.

A study conducted at seven pediatric medical centers throughout the United States shows that several categories of patients with heart disease, including African-Americans and lower-income families, have a lower quality of life.

"Advanced treatments often result in unintended complications, particularly when combined with the hemodynamic impact of the heart defect itself," says Bradley Marino, MD, a cardiologist from the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the study's lead author. "The child's neurodevelopmental, psychosocial, and physical functioning are all impacted by these complications, and they may adversely affect the child's quality of life. If we know the predictors, we can put interventions in place to change the outcome for them."

Dr. Marino presents his findings today at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Orlando, FL.

To measure how much of an effect these factors have on children, Dr. Marino and his team developed the Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory (PCQLI), a self-administered questionnaire that quantitatively assesses health-related quality of life in children and adolescents age 8-18 years, and their parents. The questions are designed so that anyone with a third grade reading level can understand and answer them in fewer than 10 minutes.

Dr. Marino and his colleagues recruited 759 pairs of patients and their parents. The patients were between the ages of 8 and 18 and had at least one prior cardiac surgical procedure. The researchers evaluated the effect of income, socioeconomic status, recent hospitalization, Fontan palliation (a surgical approach to tr
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Contact: Jim Feuer
jim.feuer@cchmc.org
513-520-2967
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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