Association of Habitual Activity and Body Mass Index in Survivors of Congenital Heart Surgery: A Study of Children and Adolescents With Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of the Great Arteries, and Fontan Palliation.

Year of Publication


Number of Pages


Date Published

2018 Mar

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Obesity is associated with increased lifelong morbidity and reduced life span and is increasingly prevalent in the congenital heart disease population. Habitual exercise is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle and primary prevention of obesity in the general population. The association between habitual activity and body mass index (BMI) has not been studied in children with congenital heart disease.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>A cross-sectional analysis of two previously collected cohorts was performed, including participants 8 to 18 years old with tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, and single ventricle heart disease after a Fontan operation. The association between BMI and duration of habitual exercise (measured by questionnaire) was studied. Secondary analyses assessing the effect of other possible factors for BMI were performed.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>In total, 172 participants were studied (45% Tetralogy of Fallot, 12% transposition of the great arteries, and 43% Fontan). Median BMI was 18.2, and 29% of the participants were obese or overweight. Median habitual exercise was 5.9 h/wk. Thirty-eight percent of participants reported having their activity restricted by their cardiologist. Increasing exercise duration was associated with lower BMI ( P = .01) in univariate analysis. In secondary analyses, restriction to mild exertion and participation in low-intensity exercise were both associated with increased BMI.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Increased habitual activity was associated with lower BMI, emphasizing the potential role of recreational sport in the health of children with congenital heart disease.</p>



Alternate Title

World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg




Subscription is not available for this page.