Prevalence of congenital heart disease in relation to height above sea level in a region of Colombia

Carlos A. Gómez-Monroy, Servicio de Cardiología Pediátrica, Hospital Universitario San Rafael, Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia
Laura K. Hoyos-Gómez, División de Investigaciones, Hospital Universitario San Rafael, Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia
Álvaro F. Acosta-Costilla, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia
Laura D. Muñoz-Torres, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Boyacá, Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia
Daniel G. Fernández-Ávila, División de Investigaciones, Hospital Universitario San Rafael, Boyacá, Tunja, Colombia

Introduction: Congenital heart diseases are the most common congenital disorders in the world population, they generally manifest after birth. Altitudes between 2,500-3,500 meters above sea level have been linked to the high incidence of congenital heart diseases such as patent ductus arteriosus, atrial septum defects, and ventricular septum defects. Objetives: To characterize clinically and sociodemographically the patients diagnosed with congenital heart disease from low, moderate and high altitudes in a regional hospital in Colombia. Methodology: Observational, descriptive retrospective study. All patients under 18 years of age with a diagnosis of congenital heart disease, treated at the San Rafael de Tunja University Hospital between 2015 and 2021, were included. Results: 51.9% of the patients were male, 16.3% had a history of prematurity and 9.1% had a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The most frequent heart diseases were: persistent ductus arteriosus 35.1%, followed by ventricular communication representing 21.6% and intra-atrial communication with 19.7%). Conclusions: They must eestablish strategies such as screening and timely diagnosis of congenital heart disease in at-risk populations in order to improve the life prognosis of patients and the outcome of the disease.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease. High altitude. Down syndrome. Diagnosis. Colombia.