Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression among adults with congenital heart defects

Regina M. Simeone, Karrie F. Downing, William V. Bobo, Scott D. Grosse, Amber D. Khanna, Sherry L. Farr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Due to invasive treatments and stressors related to heart health, adults with congenital heart defects (CHDs) may have an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and/or depressive disorders. Our objectives were to estimate the prevalence of these disorders among individuals with CHDs. Methods: Using IBM® MarketScan® Databases, we identified adults age 18–49 years with ≥2 outpatient anxiety/depressive disorder claims on separate dates or ≥1 inpatient anxiety/depressive disorder claim in 2017. CHDs were defined as ≥2 outpatient CHD claims ≥30 days apart or ≥1 inpatient CHD claim documented in 2007–2017. We used log-binomial regression to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between CHDs and anxiety/depressive disorders. Results: Of 13,807 adults with CHDs, 12.4% were diagnosed with an anxiety or depressive disorder. Adults with CHDs, compared to the 5,408,094 without CHDs, had higher prevalence of PTSD (0.8% vs. 0.5%; aPR: 1.5 [CI: 1.2–1.8]), anxiety disorders (9.9% vs. 7.5%; aPR: 1.3 [CI: 1.3–1.4]), and depressive disorders (6.3% vs. 4.9%; aPR: 1.3 [CI: 1.2–1.4]). Among individuals with CHDs, female sex (aPR range: 1.6–3.3) and inpatient admission (aPR range 1.1–1.9) were associated with anxiety/depressive disorders. Conclusion: Over 1 in 8 adults with CHDs had diagnosed PTSD and/or other anxiety/depressive disorders, 30–50% higher than adults without CHDs. PTSD was rare, but three times more common in women with CHDs than men. Screening and referral for services for these conditions in people with CHDs may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-135
Number of pages12
JournalBirth Defects Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • MarketScan
  • anxiety
  • congenital heart
  • depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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