Dr. Pascal Amédro, doctor and researcher specializing in heart defects in children and adults, has just joined the team of Prof. Thambo at the M3C National Reference Centre in Bordeaux University Hospital. Driven since the beginning of his career by a aspiration to improve the quality of life in paediatric and congenital cardiology, he has developed several research programs on this topic.
What are we talking about in terms of improving the quality of life in paediatric and congenital cardiology?
In 20 years, remarkable progress has been made in the treatment of heart defects. Today, more than 9 in 10 children reach adulthood; it is more about “living with” rather than “surviving with” congenital heart disease. However, the impact of heart disease on quality of life has long remained a subject that has been little explored in research. During prenatal diagnosis, parents often ask what the quality of their child’s life will be.
What programs are you carrying out on this line of research?
We have conducted several quality of life studies in children or adults with congenital heart disease and identified two determinants of quality of life: aerobic physical fitness (VO2 max) and mental health. We created the Qualirehab research program, which uses cardiovascular rehabilitation in the centre and at home.
We then extended this program to other rare heart diseases, genetic cardiomyopathies and inherited rhythmic diseases in the Qualimyorythm trial.
What projects are planned at Bordeaux University Hospital and Liryc?
Chronic diseases in children represent an increased cardiovascular risk in adulthood, through the physical deconditioning associated with the disease and sedentary behaviours. With early and “holistic” care, we will deploy our program in other chronic pathologies, such as in young people in remission from paediatric cancer.
Finally, since mental health is a major determinant of the quality of life of children who have had heart surgery, the Qualineuro-Rehab study will combine neurocognitive rehabilitation with cardiovascular rehabilitation.