Social concern and independence in adults with congenital heart disease

Koichiro Niwa, Shigeru Tateno, Shunsuke Tatebe, Kanako Fujita, Katsuo Sugita, Masaru Terai, Hiroyuki Aotsuka, Osahiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Recent advances in medical and surgical treatment have led to the survival of increasing numbers of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, the social status of these patients remains unknown. This survey investigated the social prospects for adults with CHD, and the limiting factors for social independence. Methods. A written questionnaire on patient characteristics, education, employability, marital status and insurability was designed to define the characteristics of social independence in adults with CHD. Randomly selected adults with CHD were enrolled: 13 patients with cyanotic unrepaired CHD (4 males, 9 females, mean age: 29.8 ± 10 years, range: 18-56 years) and 102 patients with other CHDs(48 males, 54 females, mean age: 29.5 ± 10 years, range: 18-74 years). Results. University of California at Los Angeles functional class I-II was found in 94% of patients, medication in 46%, and hospitalization in 51%. Compared with the data from Japanese general population, study patients had a lower ratio of high school graduates (86% vs 94%), life insurability (51% vs 71%), marital status (31% vs 32%) and employability (82% vs 80%). Patients with unrepaired cyanotic CHD had significantly lower ratio than those with other CHDs (marital status 15%, p = 0.19; employability 40%, p = 0.0003; high school graduates 69%, p = 0.06; life insurability 18%, p = 0.02, respectively). Conclusions. Factors affecting social independence in adults with CHD were severity of disease, continuing medication, lower level of education, lower self-esteem, and unknown natural history of CHD. To improve social independence in these patients, further development of medical and surgical therapy and more detailed knowledge of the patients, caretakers and society in this field are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Quality of life


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