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Comparison of health related quality of life with cardiopulmonary exercise testing in adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease


Objectives: To compare self reported quality of life with measured exercise capacity in patients with congenital heart disease.

Design: Prospective cross sectional clinical study

Setting: Tertiary referral centre for congenital cardiology

Patients and methods: 149 patients (60 female, 14–60 years old) with various congenital heart defects completed a health related quality of life questionnaire (medical outcomes study 36 item short form). Then they performed a cardiopulmonary exercise test on a bicycle in a sitting position.

Results: Peak oxygen uptake correlated significantly with the physical functioning (r  =  0.521, p < 0.0005) and general health scales (r  =  0.313, p < 0.0005) but not with role-physical, bodily pain, vitality, social functioning, role-emotional, mental health, and health transition scales. Closer examination of the data showed that despite an overall good correlation a substantial number of patients overestimated their physical capabilities.

Conclusions: Exercise tests and quality of life instruments should be used together to get an appropriate overview of the health status of patients with congenital heart disease.

  • congenital heart disease
  • quality of life
  • cardiopulmonary exercise test

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