Aims: Advances in medical treatment have resulted in increased life expectancy in congenital heart disease. Consequently, the focus of management has shifted from reducing mortality to reducing long-term morbidity with the goal of improving quality of life. A predictor of quality of life might be N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, a well-established marker for heart failure. We aimed to determine the association between N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and quality of life in patients with congenital heart disease. Methods: We collected blood samples from consecutive patients who were initially operated between 1968 and 1980 (47.8% women; mean age 40.2±5.4 years). The 36-item Short-Form Health Survey was completed to assess subjective health status as a measure of quality of life. Analysis was performed for the entire group and for subgroups defined as simple versus complex congenital heart diseases. Median N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide level was 15.2 pmol/L (overall range 1.3-299.3 pmol/L). N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels were associated with the subdomain physical functioning (β=-0.074, p=0.031). This association remained significant after adjustment for age and sex (β=-0.071, p=0.038) and after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, left ventricular function, and renal function (β=-0.069, p=0.048). In complex congenital heart disease, the association between N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and physical functioning remained significant in multivariable analysis (β=-0.076, p=0.046). No associations were found in the simple congenital heart disease group or on the other health status subdomains. Conclusion: In adults operated for congenital heart disease, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide is associated with the subdomain physical, primarily in the complex subgroup.

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Cardiology in the Young
Department of Cardiology

Younge, J., Eindhoven, J., Utens, E., Opic, P., Cuypers, J., van den Bosch, A., … Roos-Hesselink, J. (2015). Association between N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and quality of life in adult patients with congenital heart disease. Cardiology in the Young, 25(2), 288–294. doi:10.1017/S1047951113002114