BACKGROUND: Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) is the most commonly occurring congenital anomaly in Europe and a major paediatric health care concern. Investigations are needed to enable identification of CHD risk factors as studies have given conflicting results. This study aim was to identify maternal sociodemographic characteristics, behaviours, and birth outcomes as risk factors for CHD. This was a population based, data linkage cohort study using anonymised data from Northern Ireland (NI) covering the period 2010-2014. The study cohort composed of 94,067 live births with an outcome of 1162 cases of CHD using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)-10 codes and based on the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT) grouping system for CHD. CHD cases were obtained from the HeartSuite database (HSD) at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC), maternal data were extracted from the Northern Ireland Maternity System (NIMATS), and medication data were extracted from the Enhanced Prescribing Database (EPD). STATA version 14 was used for the statistical analysis in this study, Odds Ratio (OR), 95% Confident intervals (CI), P value, and logistic regression were used in the analysis. Ethical approval was granted from the National Health Service (NHS) Research Ethics Committee.
RESULT: In this study, a number of potential risk factors were assessed for statistically significant association with CHD, however only certain risk factors demonstrated a statistically significant association with CHD which included: gestational age at first booking (AOR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.04-1.41; P < 0.05), family history of CHD or congenital abnormalities and syndromes (AOR = 4.14; 95% CI = 2.47-6.96; P < 0.05), woman's smoking in pregnancy (AOR = 1.22; 95% CI = 1.04-1.43; P < 0.05), preterm birth (AOR = 3.01; 95% CI = 2.44-3.01; P < 0.05), multiple births (AOR = 1.89; 95% CI = 1.58-2.60; P < 0.05), history of abortion (AOR = 1.12; 95% CI = 1.03-1.28; P < 0.05), small for gestational age (SGA) (AOR = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.22-1.78; P < 0.05), and low birth weight (LBW) (AOR = 3.10; 95% CI = 2.22-3.55; P < 0.05). Prescriptions and redemptions of antidiabetic (AOR = 2.68; 95% CI = 1.85-3.98; P < 0.05), antiepileptic (AOR = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.10-2.81; P < 0.05), and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors (DHFRI) (AOR = 2.13; 95% CI = 1.17-5.85; P < 0.05) in early pregnancy also showed evidence of statistically significant association with CHD.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggested that there are certain maternal sociodemographic characteristics, behaviours and birth outcomes that are statistically significantly associated with higher risk of CHD. Appropriate prevention policy to target groups with higher risk for CHD may help to reduce CHD prevalence. These results are important for policy makers, obstetricians, cardiologists, paediatricians, midwives and the public.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth|
|Early online date||10 Nov 2021|
|Publication status||Published online - 10 Nov 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the help provided by the staff of the Honest Broker Service (HBS) within the Business Services Organisation Northern Ireland (BSO). The HBS is funded by the BSO and the Department of Health (DoH). The authors alone are responsible for the interpretation of the data and any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the BSO.
We would like to acknowledge the original PhD research supervisory team at Ulster University, Professor Helen Dolk, Dr. Karen Casson, Dr. Maria Loane, Dr. Paul Slater, and Dr. Nichola McCullough. I also would like to acknowledge Dr. Frank Casey and Mrs. Rita Butler from Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The authors would like to acknowledge the help provided by the staff of the Honest Broker Service (HBS) within the Business Services Organisation Northern Ireland (BSO). The HBS is funded by the BSO and the Department of Health (DoH). The authors alone are responsible for the interpretation of the data and any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the BSO.
© 2021, The Author(s).
- congenital heart defects
- risk factors
- population based
- data linkage
- anonymised data
- Northern Ireland
- Risk Factors
- Congenital Heart Defects (CHD)
- Population Based
- Data Linkage
- Anonymised Data
- Prospective Studies
- Data Anonymization
- Infant, Newborn
- Databases, Factual
- Fetal Diseases/epidemiology
- Information Storage and Retrieval
- Live Birth/epidemiology
- Heart Defects, Congenital/epidemiology
- Northern Ireland/epidemiology
- Cohort Studies