An Exploration of the Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Adults With Lower-Complexity Congenital Heart Disease Using the UK Biobank
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CitationSaha, Priyanka. 2019. An Exploration of the Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Adults With Lower-Complexity Congenital Heart Disease Using the UK Biobank. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground: Although lower-complexity cardiac malformations constitute the majority of adult congenital heart disease (ACHD), the long-term risks of adverse cardiovascular events and relationship with conventional risk factors in this population are poorly understood. We aimed to quantify the risk of adverse cardiovascular events associated with lower-complexity ACHD that is unmeasured by conventional cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods: A multi-tiered classification algorithm was used to select individuals with lower-complexity ACHD and individuals without ACHD for comparison amongst >500,000 British adults in the UK Biobank (UKB). ACHD diagnoses were sub-classified as “isolated aortic valve (AoV)” and “non-complex” defects. Time-to-event analyses were conducted for primary endpoints of fatal or non-fatal acute coronary syndrome (ACS), ischemic stroke, heart failure (HF), and atrial fibrillation (AF), and a secondary combined endpoint of major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE). Maximum follow-up time for the study period was 22 years using retrospectively and prospectively collected data from the UKB.
Results: We identified 2,006 individuals with lower-complexity ACHD and 497,983 unexposed individuals in the UKB (median [IQR] age at enrollment 58 [51,63]). Of the ACHD-exposed group, 59% were male; 51% were current or former smokers; 30% were obese; 69%, 41%, and 7% were diagnosed or treated for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes respectively. After adjustment for 12 measured cardiovascular risk factors, ACHD remained strongly associated with the primary endpoints, with hazard ratios (HR) ranging from 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5-2.8, p<0.001) for ACS to 13.0 (95% CI 9.4-18.1, p<0.001) for HF. ACHD-exposed individuals with less than or equal to 2 cardiovascular risk factors had a 29% age-adjusted incidence rate of MACE in contrast to 13% in non-ACHD individuals with greater than or equal to 5 risk factors.
Conclusions: Individuals with lower-complexity ACHD had a higher burden of adverse cardiovascular events relative to the general population that was unaccounted for by conventional cardiovascular risk factors. These findings highlight the need for closer surveillance of patients with mild to moderate ACHD and further investigation into management and mechanisms of cardiovascular risk unique to this growing population of high-risk adults.
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