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Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common structural defects of newborns. Southern Israel’s population is comprised of Jews (75%) and Arab-Bedouins (25%). The latter has a high rate of consanguinity and low abortion rate compared with the Jewish population, which led us to suspect a higher CHD prevalence in this population. Our aim was to compare maternal risk factors that are associated with CHD in these populations.
All births during 1991–2011 in Soroka University Medical Center (n = 247, 289) with 6078 newborns having CHD were included. To account for same-woman deliveries, general estimating equation models adjusted for ethnicity, gender and birth number were used.
The total prevalence of CHD was 24.6/1000 live births, with 21.4 and 30 among Jewish and Bedouin populations, respectively, (p = 0.001). Multi-variant analysis of risk factors for CHD revealed that risk factors common to both populations included conception with fertility medications, sibling CHD, maternal CHD, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and anaemia. Risk factors that were specific for the Bedouin population were – maternal age over 35 years, recurrent pregnancy loss and in vitro fertilisation. However, sibling CHD was more common as a CHD risk factor in the Jewish compared with the Bedouin population (Adjusted OR 10.23 versus 3.19, respectively).
The prevalence of CHD is higher in both the Bedouin and Jewish populations than previously reported. Several maternal factors were associated with CHD specifically for a certain population. Risk factors for CHD vary in populations residing in the same geographic area.
The aetiology of conotruncal heart defects is poorly understood and the birth prevalence varies geographically. The known risk factors for developing conotruncal heart defects are as follows: CHD in siblings, genetic chromosomal abnormalities, paternal age >30 years, high parity, low birth weight, prematurity, and maternal diabetes.
The aim of this study was to characterise conotruncal heart defects, birth prevalence, mortality, and morbidity in the population of southern Israel, of whom 75% are Jewish and the rest are mostly Bedouin Arabs.
The data were obtained from Soroka University Medical Center database of births and newborns. Conotruncal heart defects cases were identified by ICD9 codes.
During 1991–2011, there were 247,290 singleton live births and 393 conotruncal heart defects in Soroka University Medical Center. The birth prevalence per 10,000 live births of tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, and truncus arteriosus was 9.5, 5, and 1.8, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, Bedouin descent (adjusted odds ratio 2.40, p<0.001), maternal age >35 years (1.66, p=0.004), and siblings with congenital heart defects (1.98, p=0.005) were associated with tetralogy of Fallot, and Bedouin descent (1.61, p=0.05), siblings with congenital heart defects (2.19, p=0.004), and diabetes mellitus (7.15, p<0.001) were associated with transposition of the great arteries. In a univariate analysis, Bedouin descent (p=0.004) and congenital heart defects in siblings (p<0.001) were associated with truncus arteriosus.
We observed higher birth prevalence of conotruncal heart defects compared with the birth prevalence reported worldwide, specifically among the Bedouins, a population characterised with high consanguinity rate. Therefore, genetic counselling and early fetal echocardiograms should be encouraged, especially in high consanguinity rate populations. Naturally, further educational efforts are needed in order to decrease consanguinity and its related consequences.
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