Doubled risk of anxiety for 18 month-old children with congenital heart defects

Nov 17, 2010

Research from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) shows that children with severe congenital heart defects have twice the risk of anxiety at 18 months of age compared to healthy children. Children with mild and moderate heart defects, on the other hand, did not show an increased risk of anxiety.

"These findings suggest that with severe forms of are prone to emotional problems at a very young age. The increased risk of could be related to the number of medical procedures and hospital admissions that characterise the first years of life for these children," said PhD student Kim Stene-Larsen at the NIPH.

The NIPH is collaborating with the Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Oslo University Hospital on a major research project, HEARTKIDS.

In this follow-up study the researchers examined whether children with congenital heart defects had an increased risk of internalising problems such as anxiety or sleep problems at 18 months of age.

Out of 198 eighteen month old children with a congenital heart defect who were studied, 58 had a severe heart defect. Analysis showed that the children with a severe heart defect had a doubled risk of anxiety compared to healthy children.

In addition to the severity of the heart defect, maternal anxiety and depression explained some of the anxiety in these children. Children with mild or moderate heart defects, however, showed no signs of anxiety or other internalising problems.

The HEARTKIDS project is a sub-study of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. This aims to explore the psychological and developmental consequences of congenital heart defects in infants and toddlers. Through a merge of the MoBa and the Oslo University Hospital's nationwide register of congenital heart defects, which provides accurate diagnostic information about heart defects, it is possible to compare children with varying severity of heart defects with healthy children.

Previous findings from the HEARTKIDS project have shown that 6-month-old children with moderate or severe congenital heart defects show a higher risk of emotional reactivity (irritability, frequent and powerful crying).

Need for more knowledge about children with congenital heart defects

Approximately one percent of all newborn children have a congenital heart defect. The severity of the heart defects varies widely from minor defects to complex conditions that require a series of operations throughout the child's first year.

Several studies have shown that children with congenital heart defects down to 3 years of age are more prone to emotional problems like anxiety and depression. However, there is little knowledge about the in infancy and early childhood, which is the phase of life where most of the medical treatment is carried out. The HEARTKIDS project is focusing on the phase from birth to child age 3 years of age.

Explore further: Philippines boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare

More information: Longitudinal findings from a Norwegian case-cohort study on internalising problems in children with congenital heart defects is published online by Acta Paediatrica. Doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.02015.x

Provided by Norwegian Institute of Public Health

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No drop in IQ seen after bypass for child heart surgery

Nov 10, 2008

The use of cardiopulmonary bypass does not cause short-term neurological problems in children and teenagers after surgery for less complex heart defects, according to pediatric researchers. The new finding contrasts favorably ...

Risk of Newborn Heart Defects Increases with Maternal Obesity

Apr 08, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The more obese a woman is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the likelihood that she will give birth to an infant with a congenital heart defect, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National ...

Maternal diet and genes interact to affect heart development

Jul 06, 2010

A pregnant mother's diet may be able to interact with the genes her unborn child inherits and influence the type or severity of birth defect according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation ...

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

8 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.