Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in Seniors: a Retrospective Study Defining a Brand New Cohort

  • Krista Reich University of Calgary
  • Aliza Moledina University of Calgary
  • Emily Kwan University of Calgary
  • Michelle Keir University of Calgary
Keywords: congenital heart disease, seniors, hospitalization, cognitive impairment



With improved surgical techniques and medical therapy, pa­tients with congenital heart disease (CHD) are now expected to achieve normal life expectancies. As a result, a new cohort of senior patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) is emerging which has not been well characterized.


This study is a retrospective chart review of patients with mod­erate to complex CHD over the age of 60 years in Southern Alberta. We examined the number, length, and reasons for hospitalizations, and identified common adult comorbidities.


A total of 84 patients with CHD who were 60 years or older were identified. The average age was 67.9 ± 6.6 years, with the majority of patients having moderate CHD. The most common cardiac comorbidities were arrhythmia, hyperten­sion, and heart failure, which were also the most common reasons for hospital admission. There were 1.85 admissions per 10 patient-years, with a median length of stay of 6.0 (3.8–10.5) days.


With advanced age, the ACHD population is at risk of de­veloping significant medical burden from acquired cardiac comorbidities, resulting in hospitalization. This analysis pro­vides insight into disease characteristics of seniors with CHD. Further studies are needed to better understand this population and the association with geriatric syndromes.

Author Biographies

Krista Reich, University of Calgary

Department of Medicine


Aliza Moledina, University of Calgary

Department of Medicine

Emily Kwan, University of Calgary

Division of Geriatric Medicine


Michelle Keir, University of Calgary

Southern Alberta Adult Congenital Heart Clinic, Libin Cardiovascular Institute

How to Cite
Reich, K., Moledina, A., Kwan, E., & Keir, M. (2020). Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in Seniors: a Retrospective Study Defining a Brand New Cohort. Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 23(4), 270-276.
Original Research