Exercise Capacity and Sports
A Different Kind of Suffering: Young Men with Congenital Heart Disease
Fitness is Rated High
Scientific name of the study
LESSIE: Quality of Life and Social Situation of Adults with Congenital Heart Disease
Especially in young adulthood, men with congenital heart disease experience distress from physical limitations to a higher degree than their female peers. This is one of the results yielded by the LESSIE-study which was carried out within the scope of the Competence Network for Congenital Heart Defects.
Importance of Physical Performance and Fitness is Rated Higher by Young Men
Within the scope of the LESSIE-study, 676 Register members with congenital heart disease answered questions regarding their quality of life. According to the answers given, especially young adult males experience distress from the physical implications of their heart disease. Their suffering even exceeds that of their female peers. Men between 30 and 40 years rate their physical capacity significantly worse than their healthy peers.
Social Changes Mean a Particular Burden
This stage of life being characterized by particular challenges and changes, individuals in their young adulthood are assumed by the researchers to have an increased awareness of physical limitations. For instance, challenges associated with this life period include starting a job or a family. The study also showed that physical limitations were associated with a lower physical satisfaction during young adulthood.
Increasing Age comes with Increasing Satisfaction
With increasing age, physical and mental satisfaction increase also in men. The investigators, however, attribute this to the fact that there are as yet no individuals with severe congenital heart disease at an older age. Not before several decades have passed will research be able to make more accurate statements.
Scientific Details of the Study
The LESSIE-study was carried out between 2009 and 2011. Within the scope of the project, a nationwide collection of data regarding the health-related quality of life and the social situation of adults with congenital heart disease took place for the first time. The study aimed at defining areas of life and factors that have a high impact on the quality of life. Until today, the long-term effects of the chronic illness on quality of life is only poorly investigated. 676 adult members of the National Register for Congenital Heart Defects provided their demographic, medical and social data regarding the health-related quality of life for this study to be performed.
Learn more about the study design, material and methods, as well as the study's background.
Vigl M1, Niggemeyer E, Hager A, Schwedler G, Kropf S, Bauer U.
Qual Life Res. 2011 Mar;20(2):169-77.
Learn more about the study design, material and methods, as well as the background of the study:
The importance of socio-demographic factors for the quality of life of adults with congenital heart disease.
Vigl M, Niggemeyer E, Hager A, Schwedler G, Kropf S, Bauer U
Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation 20, 2, 169-77, (2011). Show this publication on PubMed.