Evaluation of Growth Status in Children with Congenital Heart Disease: A Case- Control Study


1 Children and Adolescent health research center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan Iran.

2 Pregnancy Health Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

3 Medical School, Zahedan University of medical Sciences, Zahedan Iran.


Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are prone to malnutrition and growth retardation. This study aimed to compare growth status between children with CHD and healthy children.               
Materials and Methods: This case–control study included 310 children with CHD and 300 healthy children matched in age and gender. CHD patients grouped according to cardiac diagnosis: group 1 (n=5), cyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension; group 2 (n=22), cyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension; group 3 (n=43), Acyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension; and group 4 (n=240), Acyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension. Anthropometric measurements of weight (Kg), height (cm), and head circumference (cm) were measured and recorded for both case and control groups.  Descriptive and analytical statistics were performed using the by SPSS version 21.0.
Results: Weight and head circumference were significantly lower in CHD children compared to healthy children (p<0.05). Weight, Height and Head circumference was significantly lower in cyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension, and Acyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension compared the CHD children (p<0.05). Weight in Acyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension and Head circumference in cyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension, and Acyanotic patients with pulmonary hypertension, was significantly lower compared to Acyanotic patients without pulmonary hypertension (p<0.05). CHD patients without operation ingested fewer weight, height and head circumference compared to CHD patients with operation (p<0.05).
Children with CHD experience early, simultaneous decrease in growth trajectory across weight, length, and head circumference. The results suggest that early surgical intervention and nutritional support can be fruitful in prevention of these complications.