Lifetime Burden of Adult Congenital Heart Disease in the USA Using a Microsimulation Model

Congenital heart defects (CHD) represent a growing burden of illness among adults. We estimated the lifetime health, education, labor, and social outcomes of adults with CHD in the USA using the Future Adult Model, a dynamic microsimulation model that has been used to study the lifetime impacts of a variety of chronic diseases. We simulated a cohort of adult heads of households > 25 years old derived from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics who reported a childhood heart problem as a proxy for CHD and calculated life expectancy, disability-free and quality-adjusted life years, lifetime earnings, education attainment, employment, development of chronic disease, medical spending, and disability insurance claiming status. Total burden of disease was estimated by comparing to a healthy cohort with no childhood heart problem. Eighty-seven individuals reporting a childhood heart problem were identified from the PSID and were used to generate the synthetic cohort simulated in the model. Life expectancy, disability-free, quality-adjusted, and discounted quality-adjusted life years were an average 4.6, 6.7, 5.3, and 1.4 years lower than in healthy adults. Lung disease, cancer, and severe mental distress were more common compared to healthy individuals. The CHD cohort earned $237,800 less in lifetime earnings and incurred higher average total medical spend by $66,600 compared to healthy individuals. Compared to healthy adults, the total burden of CHD is over $500K per adult. Despite being among the healthiest adults with CHD, there are significant decrements in life expectancy, employment, and lifetime earnings, with concomitant increases in medical spend.

Full study available at Pediatric Cardiology.

Citation: Gong, C. L., Zhao, H., Wei, Y., Tysinger, B., Goldman, D. P., & Williams, R. G. (2020). Lifetime Burden of Adult Congenital Heart Disease in the USA Using a Microsimulation Model. Pediatric cardiology, 1-11.