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Increased arterial stiffness in children with congenital heart disease.

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Dr KK Aggarwal    01 November 2017

Central systolic blood pressure SBP is a measure of arterial stiffness and is strongly associated with atherosclerosis and end organ damage. Especially in children with congenital heart disease a higher central SBP might impose a greater threat of cardiac damage. The goal of a recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology was to analyze and compare central SBP in children with congenital heart disease and in their healthy counterparts. This study entailed the measurement of central SBP using an oscillometric method in 417 children of which 38.9 were girls with various congenital heart diseases between July 2014 and February 2017. The results were compared with a recent healthy reference cohort of 1466 children of which 49.5 were girls. The results revealed that central SBP of children with congenital heart disease was considerably higher. The analysis of congenital heart disease subgroups revealed higher central SBP in children with left heart obstructions transpositions of the great arteries after arterial switch and uni ventricular hearts after total cavopulmonary connection when compared to the reference. Hence it was inferred that children with congenital heart disease have significantly higher central SBP than their healthy peers predisposing them to premature heart failure. It was stated that screening and long term observations of central SBP in children with congenital heart disease were necessary in order to evaluate the need for treatment.

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