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Risk Factors for Ventricular Septal Defects in Murmansk County, Russia: A Registry-Based Study

Journal article
Authors A. A. Kovalenko
E. E. Anda
J. O. Odland
E. Nieboer
T. Brenn
Alexandra Krettek
Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume 15
Issue 7
Pages 51
ISSN 1660-4601
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Pages 51
Language en
Keywords registry, risk factors, ventricular septal defects, congenital heart-defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, maternal smoking, birth-defects, cardiovascular malformations, global prevalence, pregnancy, metaanalysis, disease, epidemiology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Public, Environmental & Occupational, Health
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Cardiovascular malformations are one of the most common birth defects among newborns and constitute a leading cause of perinatal and infant mortality. Although some risk factors are recognized, the causes of cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) remain largely unknown. In this study, we aim to identify risk factors for ventricular septal defects (VSDs) in Northwest Russia. The study population included singleton births registered in the Murmansk County Birth Registry (MCBR) between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011. Infants with a diagnosis of VSD in the MCBR and/or in the Murmansk Regional Congenital Defects Registry (up to two years post-delivery) constituted the study sample. Among the 52,253 infants born during the study period there were 744 cases of septal heart defects (SHDs), which corresponds to a prevalence of 14.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) of 13.2-15.3] per 1000 infants. Logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify VSD risk factors. Increased risk of VSDs was observed among infants born to mothers who abused alcohol [OR = 4.83; 95% CI 1.88-12.41], or smoked during pregnancy [OR = 1.35; 95% CI 1.02-1.80]. Maternal diabetes mellitus was also a significant risk factor [OR = 8.72; 95% CI 3.16-24.07], while maternal age, body mass index, folic acid and multivitamin intake were not associated with increased risk. Overall risks of VSDs for male babies were lower [OR = 0.67; 95% CI 0.52-0.88].

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