Societal Conditions in Connecticut and America Have Dramatic Impact on People with Congenital Heart Disease – New & Starting Findings by Children’s Researchers Published in Pediatric Research Study

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2020
Media Contact:

Monica Buchanan, Director of Communications
Connecticut Children’s
(352) 219-0860

Hartford, CT- Connecticut Children’s physician researchers recently co-authored an important study about the direct association between social determinants of health (SDH) and outcomes for children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Social determinants of health are conditions in which people live and grow up within our society that include poverty, lack of insurance, housing instability, parental educational attainment, immigration status, food insecurity, and transportation barriers. This study shows that these factors impact access to care, overall health and well-being, and survival of people living with CHD.

“Social determinants of health are powerfully associated with outcomes in many areas of medicine,” said Brooke Davey, MD, Connecticut Children’s cardiologist. “This particular study focused on how conditions of our society are associated with outcomes of patients with CHD across the lifespan, including fetal diagnosis; incidence and prevalence of CHD; infant mortality; post-surgical outcomes; access to care, loss to follow-up, and hospital readmissions; neurodevelopmental outcomes and quality of life; and adult CHD.”

The study highlights the need for innovative interventions, such as parent mentors, within the field of CHD to achieve better outcomes for these patients and their families.

The findings also indicate that an urgent priority and one of the most important interventions for CHD patients would be routinely screening for SDH, with referrals to appropriate services for those who screen positive. This type of screening and referral could have the potential to improve outcomes for CHD patients across the lifespan.

“By identifying what puts patients at increased risk, we are better able to target inequities with interventions and positively impact outcomes,” said Raina Sinha, Connecticut Children’s cardiac surgeon. “We have an obligation to provide quality healthcare to all people, regardless of socio-economic status. This study will help us to ensure the best possible outcomes for people with CHD, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.”

For more information on Connecticut Children’s cardiac surgery & cardiology programs, visit www.connecticutchildrens.org/cardiology

About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet® designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.

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