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Child health
Faltering growth is an important finding in infants and children with congenital heart disease
  1. Rebecca Hill
  1. Paediatric Intensive Care, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca Hill, Paediatric Intensive Care, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool L12 2AP, Merseyside, UK; rebecca.hill{at}

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Commentary on: Diao J, Chen L, Wei J, et al. Prevalence of malnutrition in children with congenital heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pediatr. 2022 Mar;242:39-47.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.10.065.

Implications for practice and research

  • Faltering growth is a phenomenon associated with congenital heart disease (CHD).

  • Associated adverse physiological and developmental outcomes require further investigation


CHD is the most common birth defect affecting approximately 0.8% of live births, with many requiring surgical intervention early in infancy.1 Despite medical advances faltering growth remains common in these children, although catch-up growth following surgical correction has been demonstrated.2 Malnutrition is defined by z-scores less than −2 SDs from the mean for weight-for-age (WAZ); weight-for-length (WHZ) and length-for-age (HAZ).3 This systematic review by Diao et al 4 evaluates the worldwide prevalence of malnutrition in children with CHD. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.