The Pit and The Pendulum. Extremes in Body Habitus in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: Differences and Outcomes in Cardiac Catheterization

Background: Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and is one of the major comorbidities in children and adolescents with congenital heart disease [1].
Objectives: We aim to see whether children with congenital heart disease severe enough to warrant catheterization and who happen to be on the extremities of body habitus have any different characteristics or outcomes than their peers with congenital heart disease and with normal weight.
Methods: This is a retrospective study in a cardiac catheterization laboratory of a large pediatric hospital. The material consisted of 378 children from 2 to 19 years old who underwent cardiac catheterization in the years 2011 – 2019. Their anthropometric data were collected, and the Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. The Centers for Diseases control definition was used to determine whether the child was underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.
Results: The children in the extremes of underweight and obesity were both younger, with a mean age of 5.61 years and 5, respectively. In comparison, the underweight children had a mean of 8 years, normal weight 8.61 years, overweight 9.64 years, and obesity 9.61 years. This difference is statistically significant (p< 0.005).
Conclusions: No difference was observed in the length of stay or rate of complications during the catheterizations. Further research is necessary to determine whether extremes of body habitus pose a modifiable risk factor for perioperative outcomes.

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Author: Andriana Anagnostopoulou