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Down Syndrome Kids Fare Better Than Others After Heart Repair

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children with Down syndrome, compared with those without this genetic condition, are more likely to survive to discharge following surgical repair of congenital heart disease, according to research published online April 22 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Jacqueline M. Evans, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California in Davis, and colleagues conducted a population-based study of 51,309 children, younger than 18 years of age, in the United States who underwent surgery for congenital heart disease. The researchers compared outcomes for children with and without Down syndrome.

The researchers found that 8.2 percent of the children had a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Overall, children with Down syndrome had a significantly lower rate of in-hospital death following surgical repair of congenital heart disease than children without Down syndrome (1.9 versus 4.3 percent; P < 0.05). After adjustment for risk category and other variables, the odds of death among children with Down syndrome after congenital heart surgery were 0.60 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.76; P < 0.05).

"In this large national study, children with Down syndrome who underwent repair of congenital heart disease were more likely to survive to discharge than children without Down syndrome," the authors write.

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