New study examines heart defect risk in children of people with heart defect

News Photo: AHA News: New study examines heart defect risk in children of people with heart defects

TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (American Heart Association News)

Congenital heart defects may be much more common in the children of women with heart defects than in men with heart defects, according to new research.

Smaller studies had previously reported a higher risk of offspring for mothers with congenital heart defects, or coronary artery disease. But the researchers wanted to confirm these findings in a broader population and also delve into specific heart defects.

They looked at the public records of more than 2 million children born in Denmark between 1977 and 2011 and compared the risk of congenital heart defects in children with and without a parent with coronary artery disease.

The study, published Tuesday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, found that the risk of congenital heart defects was almost double in the offspring of affected women compared to the offspring of affected men – 479 heart defects per 10,000 births versus 271.

Moreover, compared to the children of women without coronary artery disease, the children of women with coronary artery disease had more than five times the risk of having a heart defect. For children of men with coronary artery disease, the risk was threefold.

Dr Nina Øyen, the study’s lead author, said the results were somewhat expected as similar results were found in smaller US and UK studies. But she was surprised that women were more likely to have children with the same type of heart defect.

The findings “are important in genetic counseling and prenatal investigation, especially now that increasing numbers of people with congenital heart defects are surviving into adulthood and are healthy enough to raise children,” said said Øyen, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Global Public Health. and primary care at the University of Bergen in Norway.

Øyen said the findings could help doctors counsel expectant parents with congenital heart defects. The study “may also provide clues to improve our understanding of the genetic architecture of heart defects,” said Øyen, also a senior consultant in medical genetics at Haukeland University Hospital in Norway.

Researchers don’t know why heart defects were more common in descendants of women with coronary artery disease. The excess risk cannot be explained by the slightly higher birth rates among women with coronary artery disease, Øyen said. It’s also unclear, she says, why women were more likely to have children with the same type of defect, particularly defects that disrupt the pathway for blood to leave the heart.

Although he is based in Denmark, Øyen said the study could apply to a more diverse US population “since we are comparing mother-child risks to father-child risks, not the absolute risk of congenital heart defects. , which most likely differ between populations.

Dr. Nael Aldweib, who was not involved in the research, said the study’s rate of heart defects in the offspring of women with coronary artery disease may actually be an underestimate because women with heart defects Serious congenital heart disease is not recommended for pregnancy.

Still, he called it “a really important study that sheds new light on the subject.”

“I think almost all clinicians will use this data to counsel parents before, during, and after pregnancy,” said Aldweib, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

“Mothers with congenital heart disease should work closely with their cardiologists to ensure that blood pressure and other risk factors are well controlled and overall heart health is optimized before and during pregnancy,” said he declared.

News from the American Heart Association covers heart and brain health. Any opinions expressed in this story do not reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have any questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected].

By Thor Christensen, American Heart Association News

By Hola Doctor and American Heart Association News HealthDay Reporters

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Copyright © 2021 Health Day. All rights reserved.


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