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Maternal obesity ups risk of congenital heart defects

12 Jan 2019
A higher than normal BMI is often a risk factor for many long-term health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, joint, heart and even liver problems.

Maternal obesity severity increases the prevalence rate ratios (PRRs) of aortic branch defects, atrial septal defects (ASD) and persistent ductus arteriosus, suggests a recent study.

“Congenital heart defects are more frequent in offspring of mothers with overweight or obesity,” the investigators noted.

At least one congenital heart defect was diagnosed in 28,628 (1.40 percent) children. Maternal obesity severity elevated the PRRs of aortic arch defects.

Offspring of mothers with severe obesity had double the PRRs of aortic arch defects and transpositions of the great arteries compared to those of normal weight mothers. Furthermore, PRRs of ASD and persistent ductus arteriosus in term infants increased with maternal body mass index (BMI).

A total of 2,050,491 live singleton infants born between 1992 and 2012 were included in this population-based cohort study in Sweden, which sought to analyse associations between maternal overweight and obesity severity and rates of complex and specific heart defects. Data on maternal and infant characteristics and diagnoses of congenital heart defects were retrieved from nationwide registries.

The investigators characterized maternal BMI as underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m2), normal weight (BMI 18.5 to <25 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25 to <30 kg/m2), obesity class I (BMI 30 to <35 kg/m2), class II (BMI 35 to <40 kg/m2) and class III (BMI ≥40 kg/m2).

Outcomes were as follows: complex heart defects (tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, ASD, aortic arch defects and single-ventricle heart) and subgroups of specific heart defects diagnosed up to 5 years of age.

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Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

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