Key Findings: Prenatal Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Defects
Main Findings from this Study
- Researchers found that about 15% of mothers who had a baby affected by a CHD reported getting their baby’s diagnosis while they were pregnant, although this percentage varied by the type of CHD and where the mother lived when she had her baby.
- Mothers were more likely to report that they had received a diagnosis during pregnancy if
- They were over 30 years of age
- They had type 1 or 2 diabetes
- Someone else in their family had a CHD
- They were carrying twins or multiple babies
- Their baby had a more complex heart defect or other birth defects in addition to the CHD
- Mothers were less likely to report that they had received a diagnosis during pregnancy if
- They were Hispanic
- They were overweight or obese
- They had hypertension
About this Study
- Researchers used data on babies born with a CHD between 1997 and 2005 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, an ongoing study of birth defects in the United States.
- Participating states were: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Utah.
- Researchers looked at how often women with pregnancies affected by a CHD reported that they received their baby’s CHD diagnosis during their pregnancy. They also looked at factors that might have affected whether a baby received a prenatal diagnosis.
Congenital Heart Defects: CDC’s Activities
At CDC, we work to identify causes and prevention opportunities for congenital heart defects by applying a comprehensive public health approach:
- Surveillance or disease tracking:
- State programs: CDC funds and coordinates the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP). CDC also funds 14 population-based state tracking programs. Birth defects tracking systems are vital to help us find out where and when birth defects occur and whom they affect.
- Adolescents and adults: CDC recently started 3 projects to track congenital heart defects among adolescents and adults in order to learn about the health issues and needs across the lifespan that come from being born with a heart defect.
- Research: CDC funds the Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, which collaborate on large studies such as the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (births 1997-2011) and the Birth Defects Study To Evaluate Pregnancy exposureS (to start in 2014). These studies work to identify risk factors for congenital heart defects.
- Prevention: Studying the occurrence of congenital heart defects among the population holds promise for identifying risk factors that can be translated into prevention strategies.
- Collaboration: CDC provides technical assistance to the Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium, a unique collaboration that brings together families, experts, and organizations to address congenital heart defects.
Reference for Key Findings Feature
Ailes EC, Gilboa SM, Riehle-Colarusso T, Johnson CY, Hobbs CA, Correa A, Honein MA, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Prenatal diagnosis of non-syndromic congenital heart defects. [Epub ahead of print].
To learn more about congenital heart defects, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/.
Risk factors are characteristics, conditions, or behaviors that can increase or decrease the risk for couples to have a baby with a congenital heart defect.