Are rollercoasters heart-stoppingly fun for children with congenital heart disease?

  • Pieles, Guido E (Principal Investigator)
  • Stuart, A Graham (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Williams, Craig (Collaborator)
  • Husk, Victoria (Student)

Project Details


Congenital heart disease has an incidence of 0.4-1.2%. Whilst surgical and medical care in CHD has improved outcome, the UK Collaborative Study of CHD reports a significantly lower quality of life in children with CHD compared to their unaffected peers. Lack of knowledge of risks and benefits and overprotection from parents or caregivers means they are often prevented from joining in both sporting and other activities, which is detrimental to their quality of life. One question regularly asked in outpatient’s clinics is whether children with CHD are able to join in on activities with their peers such as going to funfairs. The primary concern is that stress, acceleration and G-force experienced on rollercoasters will trigger arrhythmias, which indeed represent a major morbidity and mortality risk factor in CHD. Whilst there is limited scientific data to support this theory parental concerns and lack of quantitative scientific data have persuaded medical professionals to warn against CHD children from going to funfairs - a decision extremely unpopular with children and youngsters and therefore often disregarded. This project will investigate as to whether children with CHD will develop arrhythmias whilst on rollercoasters?

This project has been awarded a Academy of Medical Science INSPIRE student grant to Victoria Husk.
Effective start/end date1/07/14 → 31/08/14


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