BACKGROUND:

Data on anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are lacking for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), particularly those with simple CHD. This study aims to characterize these disorders in youth with CHD compared to those without CHD.

METHODS:

A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted by using the electronic medical records of a large tertiary care hospital between 2011 and 2016. Inclusion criteria were youth aged 4 to 17 years with >1 hospitalization or emergency department visits. Exclusion criteria were patients with arrhythmias or treatment with clonidine and/or benzodiazepines. The primary predictor variable was CHD type: simple, complex nonsingle ventricle, and complex single ventricle. The primary outcome variable was a diagnosis and/or medication for anxiety and/or depression or ADHD. Data were analyzed by using logistic regression (Stata v15; Stata Corp, College Station, TX).

RESULTS:

We identified 118 785 patients, 1164 with CHD. Overall, 18.2% (n = 212) of patients with CHD had a diagnosis or medication for anxiety or depression, compared with 5.2% (n = 6088) of those without CHD. All youth with CHD had significantly higher odds of anxiety and/or depression or ADHD. Children aged 4 to 9 years with simple CHD had ∼5 times higher odds (odds ratio: 5.23; 95% confidence interval: 3.87–7.07) and those with complex single ventricle CHD had ∼7 times higher odds (odds ratio: 7.46; 95% confidence interval: 3.70–15.07) of diagnosis or treatment for anxiety and/or depression. Minority and uninsured youth were significantly less likely to be diagnosed or treated for anxiety and/or depression or ADHD, regardless of disease severity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Youth with CHD of all severities have significantly higher odds of anxiety and/or depression and ADHD compared to those without CHD. Screening for these conditions should be considered in all patients with CHD.

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