Health Care Usage Among Adolescents With Congenital Heart Defects at 5 Sites in the United States, 2011 to 2013

George K. Lui, Kristin Sommerhalter, Yizhao Xi, Lorenzo D. Botto, Tessa Crume, Sherry Farr, Marcia L. Feldkamp, Jill Glidewell, Daphne Hsu, Amber Khanna, Sergey Krikov, Jennifer Li, Cheryl Raskind-Hood, Lauren Sarno, Alissa R. Van Zutphen, Ali Zaidi, Aida Soim, Wendy M. Book

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: We sought to characterize health care usage for adolescents with congenital heart defects (CHDs) using population-based multisite surveillance data. METHODS AND RESULTS: Adolescents aged 11 to 18 years with ≥1 CHD-related diagnosis code and residing in 5 US sites were identified in clinical and administrative data sources for the years 2011 to 2013. Sites linked data on all inpatient, emergency department (ED), and outpatient visits. Multivariable log-binomial regression models including age, sex, unweighted Charlson comorbidity index, CHD severity, cardiology visits, and insurance status, were used to identify associations with inpatient, ED, and outpatient visits. Of 9626 eligible adolescents, 26.4% (n=2543) had severe CHDs and 21.4% had Charlson comorbidity index >0. At least 1 inpatient, ED, or outpatient visit was reported for 21%, 25%, and 96% of cases, respectively. Cardiology visits, cardiac imaging, cardiac procedures, and vascular procedures were reported for 38%, 73%, 10%, and 5% of cases, respectively. Inpatient, ED, and outpatient visits were consistently higher for adolescents with severe CHDs compared with nonsevere CHDs. Adolescents with severe and nonsevere CHDs had higher health care usage compared with the 2011 to 2013 general adolescent US population. Adolescents with severe CHDs versus nonsevere CHDs were twice as likely to have at least 1 inpatient visit when Charlson comorbidity index was low (Charlson comorbidity index =0). Adolescents with CHDs and public insurance, compared with private insurance, were more likely to have inpatient (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.3–1.7]) and ED (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.4–1.7]) visits. CONCLUSIONS: High resource usage by adolescents with CHDs indicates a substantial burden of disease, especially with public insurance, severe CHDs, and more comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere026172
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 20 2022


  • adolescent
  • congenital
  • heart defects
  • inpatients
  • outpatients
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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