Objectives To assess the impact of congenital heart surgery on anthropometric scores of growth in economically disadvantaged children.
Methods A cohort of 100 economically disadvantaged children was followed up after cardiac surgery for their nutritional recovery. Weight, height and body mass index for age were measured just before surgery and at a median period of 48.1 months (range 9–59.9 months) after surgery. Z scores of the age-adjusted variables were computed and McNemar OR was calculated for odds of improvement.
Results The mean weight for age of the cohort increased from 14.74±5.76 to 23.83±7.83 kg. In malnourished children (weight for age Z score ≤−2) the mean weight changed from −3.01 to −1.6 (p<0.05), the median improvement being 0.85. The paired OR for improvement was highest for weight (14.5; 95% CI 5 to 27), modest for BMI (1.57; 95% CI 0.56 to 6.34) and least for height (0.25; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.87). The proportion of malnourished children decreased from 61% to 27% after surgery. Subgroup analysis of the children with initial malnutrition showed significant improvement in weight for age Z scores (p=0.002) compared with non-malnourished children (paired OR 17.54; 95% CI 6.13 to 32.26), those with worse malnutrition faring better. Children with residual malnutrition tended to have extreme economic backwardness, surgery for cyanotic congenital heart disease or associated syndromes.
Conclusion Congenital heart surgery resulted in a salutary improvement in the growth of children from economically underprivileged backgrounds. Residual malnutrition was likely to be associated with extreme economic backwardness, surgery for cyanotic congenital heart disease or coincidental syndromes.
- congenital heart disease
- economic backwardness
- paediatric cardiology
- paediatric interventional cardiology
- transposition of the great arteries
- paediatric surgery
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Institutional Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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