Longitudinal Care of Patients with Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Longitudinal Care of Patients with Adult Congenital Heart Disease


We have a real opportunity in adults
with congenital heart disease. We follow them from a young age. We take them
through their 20s and 30s and 40s and in our ability to do that, not only do we
take care of congenital heart disease, but we get to prevent the development of
atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The challenge for our research is figuring
out who the specific populations are with congenital heart disease, who are at
greater risk for developing atherosclerotic disease. Our research has been focused on really analyzing the data that we already collect for adults with
congenital heart disease and seeing what can we learn from that, that helps
prevent cardiovascular disease in older age. We hope that this is a healthy
population because we’ve done a good job with congenital heart disease. But even
more so, we hope that this is a population who doesn’t develop any new
cardiovascular disease in their older years. Adults with congenital heart
disease are surviving into old age. Unfortunately along with that comes the
risk of atherosclerotic disease. In our study, we assessed the risk of atherosclerotic disease in adults with congenital heart disease, as well as statin use for treatment of
people who had atherosclerotic risk factors. It’s interesting to find that
adults with congenital disease are actually not treated with statins as
often as they should be. We think a little bit about what the causes for
this under-treatment might be, and yes, there is some associated liver disease,
although in our population that was only limited to two patients. But there is
also a lack of understanding that during congenital heart disease visits, we need
to make time for thinking about these people as older adults and emphasize
cardiac prevention. It’s a great study for us, provides a little bit of insight
into ways that we can change our practice models. Using this research we
actually built a health and wellness program where we have separate visits to
talk about atherosclerotic disease prevention, rather than congenital heart disease
management.