Lifestyles and Determinants of Perceived Health in Italian Grown-Up/Adult Congenital Heart Patients: A Cross-Sectional and Pan-National Survey

OBJECTIVES:

To provide the first epidemiological lifestyle descriptions of the Italian grown-up/adult congenital heart disease (GUCH/ACHD) population by identifying the determinants of poor perceived health status.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional pan-national survey.

SETTING:

Italian GUCH/ACHD patients who were members of the Italian Association of GUCH/ACHD.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

To discuss these lifestyle descriptions through an ad hoc developed questionnaire and health perceptions (ie, mental and physical health perception) through a short form health survey (SF-12).

RESULTS:

629 patients included; many investigated GUCH/ACHD lifestyles were determined similar to those of the general population – with the exception of the smoking habits, which were lower. The odds of the occurrence of inadequate physical health perceptions increased by more than two times in patients undergoing antiarrhythmic therapies (OR adjusted=2.045; 95% CI=1.201 to 3.479; p=0.008; n=629), more than 1.5 times in patients taking oral anticoagulants (OR adjusted=1.638; 95% CI=1.038 to 2.585; p=0.034; n=629) and roughly 1.7 times in patients treated with antiplatelets (OR adjusted=1.743; 95% CI=1.024 to 2.966; p=0.041; n=629). The odds of the occurrence of inadequate mental health perceptions increased by 1.7% for every year that the patients aged (OR adjusted=1.017; 95% CI=1.002 to 1.032; p=0.025; n=629).

CONCLUSION:

Particular attention should be paid to these ageing patients’ increasing psychological needs, and additional research is needed to identify associations between their lifestyles and clinical outcomes.