Background: Racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes for children with congenital heart disease (CHD) coexist with disparities in educational, environmental, and economic opportunity. Objectives: We sought to determine the associations between childhood opportunity, race/ethnicity, and pediatric CHD surgery outcomes. Methods: Pediatric Health Information System encounters aged <18 years from 2016 to 2022 with International Classification of Diseases-10th edition codes for CHD and cardiac surgery were linked to ZIP code-level Childhood Opportunity Index (COI), a score of neighborhood educational, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions. The associations of race/ethnicity and COI with in-hospital surgical death were modeled with generalized estimating equations and formal mediation analysis. Neonatal survival after discharge was modeled by Cox proportional hazards. Results: Of 54,666 encounters at 47 centers, non-Hispanic Black (Black) (OR: 1.20; P = 0.01), Asian (OR: 1.75; P < 0.001), and Other (OR: 1.50; P < 0.001) groups had increased adjusted mortality vs non-Hispanic Whites. The lowest COI quintile had increased in-hospital mortality in unadjusted and partially adjusted models (OR: 1.29; P = 0.004), but not fully adjusted models (OR: 1.14; P = 0.13). COI partially mediated the effect of race/ethnicity on in-hospital mortality between 2.6% (P = 0.64) and 16.8% (P = 0.029), depending on model specification. In neonatal multivariable survival analysis (n = 13,987; median follow-up: 0.70 years), the lowest COI quintile had poorer survival (HR: 1.21; P = 0.04). Conclusions: Children in the lowest COI quintile are at risk for poor outcomes after CHD surgery. Disproportionally increased mortality in Black, Asian, and Other populations may be partially mediated by COI. Targeted investment in low COI neighborhoods may improve outcomes after hospital discharge. Identification of unmeasured factors to explain persistent risk attributed to race/ethnicity is an important area of future exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-813
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2023


  • Childhood Opportunity Index
  • congenital heart disease
  • health disparities


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