Aims: To describe clinical and demographic characteristics at baseline of a European cohort of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) and to assess mortality and morbidity in a 5 year follow-up period. Methods and results: Data collected as part of the Euro Heart Survey on adult CHD was analysed. This entailed information transcribed from the files of 4110 patients diagnosed with one of eight congenital heart conditions ('defects'), who consecutively visited the outpatient clinics of one of the participating centres in 1998. The patients were included retrospectively and followed until the end of 2003 for a median follow-up of 5.1 years. Notwithstanding their overall relatively good functional class and low mortality over the follow-up period, a considerable proportion of the patients had a history of endocarditis, arrhythmias, or vascular events. There were major differences between the eight defects, both in morbidity and regarding specific characteristics. Outcomes were worst in cyanotic defects and in the Fontan circulation, but a considerable proportion of the other patients also suffer from cardiac symptoms. In particular, arrhythmias are common. Conclusion: The spectrum of adult CHD in Europe emerging from this survey is one of a predominantly young population with substantial morbidity but relatively low mortality in a 5 year period.

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European Heart Journal
Department of Cardiology

Engelfriet, P., Boersma, E., Oechslin, E., Tijssen, J., Gatzoulis, M., Thilén, U., … Mulder, B. (2005). The spectrum of adult congenital heart disease in Europe: Morbidity and mortality in a 5 year follow-up period - The Euro Heart Survey on adult congenital heart disease. European Heart Journal (Vol. 26, pp. 2325–2333). doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehi396