IJC Heart and Vasculature
Overweight (OW) and obesity (OB) are endemic in the United States and affect adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). Defining the burden of excess weight on the cardiovascular system in ACHD is the goal of this study. Limitation of exercise capacity due to overweight or obesity might be reversible with weight loss and improve quality of life for ACHD adults.
Exercise tests performed using a Bruce protocol and measurement of maximum oxygen consumption were retrospectively reviewed on 418 CHD patients. OW and OB were defined as the 85–95 or > 95 percentile respectively for age and gender or by adult criteria. Severity of CHD was assigned based on criteria published in standard guidelines.
63 patients had mild, 198 moderate, and 157 severe heart disease. Each ACHD group was 32 to 34% OW or OB. Measured exercise time (ET) of CHD patients with moderate or severe heart disease was less than that of controls in each weight categories. However, OB or OW people have shorter ET than their normal weight peers with CHD. Multiple regression using ET as the dependent variable finds that female sex, relative BMI, and VE/VCO2 at peak exercise are all associated with lesser ET with high significance. Peak heart rate is associated with greater ET, with borderline significance. Severity of heart disease is not independently associated with ET.
OW and OB are strongly associated with reduced ET in persons with congenital heart disease. Losing weight may improve exercise capacity in ACHD.
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Kuehl, K., Tucker, A., Khan, M., Goldberg, P., Greene, E. A., & Smith, M. (2015). Overweight predicts poorer exercise capacity in congenital heart disease patients. IJC Heart and Vasculature, 9 (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2015.07.005