Despite advances in the management of children with CHD, associated malnutrition continues to be a problem. For several decades, investigators have tried to identify the factors affecting growth in children with CHD. Cardiac malformations are undoubtedly responsible for malnutrition, but other associated diseases should not escape attention. Malnutrition per se can undermine the outcome of corrective surgical operations and postoperative recovery. Mechanisms linking CHD to malnutrition may be related to decreased energy intake and/or increased energy requirements.

Most treatment strategies aim to facilitate catch-up growth by providing extra calories and protein that exceed the RDAs for age. Early attention to the correction of the cardiac defect supplemented by a balanced nutritional care will help children with CHD thrive better.

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