Cardiac repair surgeries within 10 years after birth may cause for increased risk of hypertension -high blood pressure - within a few months or years after surgery says a new study published in the journal of JAMA Network Open.
The medical records study covering thousands of children was led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The researchers showed that children who had cardiac repair surgeries to correct congenital heart disease (CHD) may restore young hearts to healthy function, they were 13 times more likely to develop hypertension as adults when compared with the general population.
The hypertension study used the same data registry from a 2019 investigation of CHD repair and long-term risk of end-stage kidney disease.
According to the study other factors which raise the risk of future hypertension were CHD repair surgery at age 3 months or younger, needing kidney dialysis during recovery from CHD repair surgery, and one or more cardiac surgeries after the initial repair.
Chirag Parikh who is director of the Division of Nephrology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the new study said that clinical outcome studies in recent years provide evidence that surgical repair of heart problems during the first decade of life leaves behind some pathological changes that can continue in the cardiovascular system.
Parikh cautioned that medical records studies that "look back" at patient histories have limitations, but said that the research team's findings should be useful in guiding better long-term care for those at highest risk for hypertension, and subsequently, heart disease, stroke or kidney disease.
"For now, we recommend that children who have cardiac repair as infants be monitored more closely for hypertension throughout their lives," he said. "Future research will need to explore if early treatment of hypertension in these patients can prevent cardiovascular or renal problems later on."
The study was supported by ICES, which is funded by an annual grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and by the National Institutes of Health