Scientific Sessions 2015 - child suffering in schoolChildren with congenital heart disease do not perform as well in school as children without birth defects, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers used North Carolina third-grade public school records to compare end-of-grade test results for children born with congenital heart disease to those of children without birth defects in 1998-2003.Compared to children without a birth defect, those with congenital heart disease were:

  • 40 percent more likely not to meet proficiency standards in reading;
  • 20 percent more likely not to meet standards in math;
  • 50 percent more likely not to meet those standards in both subjects; and
  • 2.8 percent were held back in the third grade (compared to 1.9 percent of children without birth defects).

A child’s history of congenital heart disease is important in determining a student’s need for specialized education services, according to the authors.