Depression and anxiety in adolescents with congenital heart disease

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Adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at an increased risk of developing psychological distress.

Aim of the study

The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of depression and anxiety in adolescents with CHD, and to identify the predictors related to these disorders.

Participants and methods

This is a cross-sectional case–control study. A total of 60 adolescents with CHD aged between 12 and 18 years and 30 apparently healthy adolescents were recruited. All participants were assessed using a designed questionnaire, the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), the Revised Children Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS), and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID).


The prevalence of depression was higher in adolescents with CHD compared with healthy controls (18.3 vs. 3.3%, P=0.048). Moreover, 30% of adolescents with CHD had anxiety compared with 10% of the control group (P=0.03). Multivariate analysis of risk factors showed that the level of education (being illiterate) and the symptomatic cardiac functional class were significant predictors of depression in adolescents with CHD. Likewise, the presence of more than one cardiac defect and having more than one cardiac catheterization were significant predictors of anxiety in adolescents with CHD.


Adolescents with CHD are at an increased risk of having depression and anxiety, especially those with a low level of education, severe cardiac illness, and multiple cardiac catheterizations. Appropriate psychiatric assessment and early intervention can improve the quality of life of adolescents with CHD.

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