Researchers already knew that children with CHD have an increased risk for poor growth, but this analysis provides a fuller picture of the problem. Cohen observed that in the general population, when caloric intake is insufficient, an infant's weight is usually affected first, followed by length and head circumference. "The fact that all three parameters changed simultaneously rather than sequentially supports the idea that impaired growth in children with heart disease is affected at least in part by factors unrelated to nutrition."
She added that further studies should investigate the possible roles of growth hormones and other physiologic factors that affect growth regulation in children with CHD.
Cohen's co-authors were first author Carrie Daymont, M.D., of the University of Manitoba, Ashley Neal, M.D., of Children's Hospital Boston, and Aaron Prosnitz, M.D., of Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. All were at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia when the research was performed.
"Growth in Children with Congenital Heart Disease," Pediatrics, Jan. 2013, pp. e236-e242.About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 516-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu. Contact: Joey McCool RyanThe Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhone: (267) 426-6070 McCool@email.chop.edu SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia