To determine the prevalence of malnutrition among hospitalized children with congenital heart disease by age, disease process, and clinical status.
Cross-sectional, retrospective chart review.
Pediatric cardiology units at a 150-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Patients (n=160) were randomly selected from consecutive admissions to the Pediatric Cardiology and Thoracic Surgery Services during a 1-year period.
Main Outcome Measures:
Acute and chronic malnutrition, assessed by comparing the patients' weight and height with established means.
Acute and chronic malnutrition occurred in 33% and 64% of the patients, respectively. Age, diagnostic category, and symptoms were associated with malnutrition. Eighty percent of infants presented with acute malnutrition compared with 18% of patients of other ages (P<.001). Malnutrition affected 60% of patients with left-to-right shunts, 53% of patients with complex heart disease, and no patients with primary rhythm disturbances. Acute malnutrition affected 11% and chronic malnutrition affected 50% of patients with left-sided heart obstruction. Acute or chronic malnutrition occurred in 70% or more of patients with cyanosis and/or congestive heart failure but in only 30% of patients with neither (P<.001).
Malnutrition in hospitalized children with congenital heart disease remains common, highlighting the importance of nutritional screening and intervention.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:1098-1102)