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The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of Ebstein’s anomaly in Europe and its association with maternal health and medication exposure during pregnancy.
We carried out a descriptive epidemiological analysis of population-based data.
We included data from 15 European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies Congenital Anomaly Registries in 12 European countries, with a population of 5.6 million births during 1982–2011.
Cases included live births, fetal deaths from 20 weeks gestation, and terminations of pregnancy for fetal anomaly.
Main outcome measures
We estimated total prevalence per 10,000 births. Odds ratios for exposure to maternal illnesses/medications in the first trimester of pregnancy were calculated by comparing Ebstein’s anomaly cases with cardiac and non-cardiac malformed controls, excluding cases with genetic syndromes and adjusting for time period and country.
In total, 264 Ebstein’s anomaly cases were recorded; 81% were live births, 2% of which were diagnosed after the 1st year of life; 54% of cases with Ebstein’s anomaly or a co-existing congenital anomaly were prenatally diagnosed. Total prevalence rose over time from 0.29 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20–0.41) to 0.48 (95% CI 0.40–0.57) (p<0.01). In all, nine cases were exposed to maternal mental health conditions/medications (adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 2.64, 95% CI 1.33–5.21) compared with cardiac controls. Cases were more likely to be exposed to maternal β-thalassemia (adjOR 10.5, 95% CI 3.13–35.3, n=3) and haemorrhage in early pregnancy (adjOR 1.77, 95% CI 0.93–3.38, n=11) compared with cardiac controls.
The increasing prevalence of Ebstein’s anomaly may be related to better and earlier diagnosis. Our data suggest that Ebstein’s anomaly is associated with maternal mental health problems generally rather than lithium or benzodiazepines specifically; therefore, changing or stopping medications may not be preventative. We found new associations requiring confirmation.
We aimed to assess cancer risk in congenital heart defect patients, with and without Down's syndrome, compared with the general population.
We identified all patients born and diagnosed with congenital heart defects from 1977 to 2008 using the Danish National Registry of Patients, covering all Danish hospitals. We compared cancer incidence in the congenital heart defect cohort with that expected in the general population (∼5.5 million) using the Danish Cancer Registry, and computed age- and gender-standardised incidence ratios.
We identified 15,905 congenital heart defect patients, contributing a total of 151,172 person-years at risk; the maximum length of follow-up was 31 years (median 8 years). In all, 53 patients were diagnosed with cancer, including 30 female and 23 male patients (standardised incidence ratio = 1.63; 95% confidence interval: 1.22–2.13). Risks were increased for leukaemia, brain tumours, and basal cell carcinoma. After excluding 801 patients with Down's syndrome, the standardised incidence ratio was 1.19 (95% confidence interval: 0.84–1.64). In the subgroup of 5660 non-Down's syndrome patients undergoing cardiac surgery or catheter-based interventions, the standardised incidence ratio was 1.45 (95% confidence interval: 0.86–2.29).
The overall risk of cancer among congenital heart defect patients without Down's syndrome was not statistically significantly elevated. Cancer risk in the congenital heart defect cohort as a whole, including patients with Down's syndrome, was increased compared with the general population, although the absolute risk was low. Studies with longer follow-up and more information on radiation doses are needed to further examine a potential cancer risk associated with diagnostic radiation exposure.
To describe the epidemiology of chromosomal and non-chromosomal cases of atrioventricular septal defects in Europe.
Data were obtained from EUROCAT, a European network of population-based registries collecting data on congenital anomalies. Data from 13 registries for the period 2000–2008 were included.
There was a total of 993 cases of atrioventricular septal defects, with a total prevalence of 5.3 per 10,000 births (95% confidence interval 4.1 to 6.5). Of the total cases, 250 were isolated cardiac lesions, 583 were chromosomal cases, 79 had multiple anomalies, 58 had heterotaxia sequence, and 23 had a monogenic syndrome. The total prevalence of chromosomal cases was 3.1 per 10,000 (95% confidence interval 1.9 to 4.3), with a large variation between registers. Of the 993 cases, 639 cases were live births, 45 were stillbirths, and 309 were terminations of pregnancy owing to foetal anomaly. Among the groups, additional associated cardiac anomalies were most frequent in heterotaxia cases (38%) and least frequent in chromosomal cases (8%). Coarctation of the aorta was the most common associated cardiac defect. The 1-week survival rate for live births was 94%.
Of all cases, three-quarters were associated with other anomalies, both chromosomal and non-chromosomal. For infants with atrioventricular septal defects and no chromosomal anomalies, cardiac defects were often more complex compared with infants with atrioventricular septal defects and a chromosomal anomaly. Clinical outcomes for atrioventricular septal defects varied between regions. The proportion of termination of pregnancy for foetal anomaly was higher for cases with multiple anomalies, chromosomal anomalies, and heterotaxia sequence.
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