(HealthDay)—Annual adult admissions for congenital heart disease are increasing and approaching that of pediatric admissions, according to a study published online March 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 9 to 11 in San Francisco.
Jared M. O'Leary, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to analyze trends in U.S. hospitalizations for children and adults with congenital heart disease from 1998 through 2010.
During the study period, the researchers observed a more rapid increase in the annual number of congenital heart disease hospitalizations for adults than for children. Compared with the first half of the study (January 1998 through June 2004), in the second half of the study (July 2004 through December 2010), adult admission volume increased 87.8 percent, while pediatric admissions increased 32.8 percent. In the second half of the study, adults accounted for 36.5 percent of the congenital heart disease admissions, an increase from 28.9 percent in the first half. The extent of medical comorbidity increased for both children and adults, but was greater for adults.
"The frequency of hospitalizations for adults with congenital heart disease has grown at a rate more than twice that for children from 1998 through 2010," the authors write. "Adult congenital heart disease admissions will have an increasing impact on resource utilization. Further research and focus on optimizing health care delivery is warranted to effectively care for adults with congenital heart disease."
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.