Abstract 12047: Quality of Life in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease Worldwide: A Multilevel Study in 15 Countries
Objectives: Health care should be evaluated not only on the basis of saving lives, but also in terms of improving the quality of life (QOL). However, results regarding QOL in adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) are inconsistent and vary across the world. Methodological differences and limitations hamper the interpretation of these results. Therefore, we aimed (1) to describe QOL in an international sample of adults with CHD using a uniform method; (2) to investigate the association between patient characteristics and variation in QOL; and (3) to explore international variation in QOL and the relationship with country-specific characteristics.
Methods: For this cross-sectional multilevel study, patients were recruited from adult CHD centers or national registries from 15 countries. QOL was assessed by a linear analog scale (0-100). Patient characteristics included sex, age, marital status, educational level, employment status, CHD complexity and patient-reported New York Heart Association (NYHA) class. Country-specific characteristics included national happiness score and six cultural dimensions. Multilevel generalized linear mixed models were conducted and Empirical Bayes estimates for QOL were calculated to account for the sample size in each country.
Results: In total, 4,028 adults with CHD were enrolled (median age=32 y; 53% women; 26% mild, 49% moderate, 26% complex CHD). Median QOL for the total sample was 80. Age, marital status, employment status and NYHA class were significantly associated with variation in QOL (p<.001). Australia had the highest QOL estimate (82) and Japan the lowest (72). Four countries had a QOL estimate of ≥80 (i.e., Australia, Switzerland, USA, Malta). After adjusting for patient characteristics, happiness and cultural dimensions were not significantly associated with variation in QOL.
Conclusions: This is the first international study comprehensively assessing QOL in any subgroup of cardiac patients. We found that QOL in adults with CHD varies across countries and is related to patient characteristics but not to country-specific characteristics. The identification of significant patient characteristics can support the development of interventions targeting the QOL of adults with CHD around the world.
Author Disclosures: S. Apers: None. A.H. Kovacs: None. K. Luyckx: None. P. Moons: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.