Maternal Prepregnancy Weight and Congenital Heart Defects in the Offspring

Birth Defects and Pediatric Genetics Branch, Division of Birth Defects, Child Development, Disability and Health, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.2). 07/2001; 11(4):439-446. DOI: 10.1097/00001648-200107000-00014
Source: PubMed


To determine the relation between having an infant with a major heart defect and a mother's prepregnancy weight, we compared 1,049 Atlanta-area women who gave birth to liveborn or stillborn infants, each with a major heart defect, with 3,029 Atlanta-area women who gave birth to infants without birth defects. The infants of control women were randomly selected from birth certificates and were frequency-matched to the case group by race, birth hospital, and birth period from 1968 through 1980. After excluding diabetic mothers and adjusting for potential confounders, compared with average-weight women (body mass index 19.9-22.7), we found that underweight women (body mass index <16.5) were less likely to have a child with a major isolated heart defect [odds ratio (OR) = 0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.43-0.97], whereas the OR was elevated among overweight or obese women (body mass index >26) (OR = 1.36; 95% CI = 0.95-1.93). Using average-weight women who did not take periconceptional multivitamins as the reference group, periconceptional multivitamin use was associated with a reduced OR for isolated heart defects among average-weight women (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.36-0.99) and underweight women but not among overweight or obese women (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 0.69-3.84).

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