Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Temporal variability in birth prevalence of cardiovascular malformations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Wren, Dr Sam Richmond, Professor Liam Donaldson


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Objective - To investigate changes over time in the prevalence at live birth of cardiovascular malformations and to compare 'anatomical' and 'physiological' diagnostic hierarchies within a population. Design - Retrospective and prospective ascertainment of all congenital cardiovascular malformations diagnosed in infancy. Setting - The resident population of one health region. Patients - All infants live born from 1985 to 1997 with cardiovascular malformations confirmed by echocardiography, cardiac catheterisation, surgery or autopsy. Main outcome measures - Year to year variation in prevalence of individual malformations and of 'complex', 'significant', and 'minor' groups. Results - 2671 babies with cardiovascular malformations were confirmed in a denominator population of 477 960 live births (5.6 per 1000). There was no change over 13 years in the birth prevalence of 'complex' or 'significant' defects, but a highly significant increase in 'minor' defects (p < 0.0001), mainly small ventricular septal defects. Termination of pregnancy increased from no cases in 1985 to 16 in 1997 with no demonstrable effect on live born babies with heart defects. A one dimensional 'anatomical' diagnostic hierarchy led to under ascertainment of pulmonary atresia by 27%, coarctation of the aorta by 39%, and interruption of the aorta by 100%. Conclusions - The apparent increase in live born cardiovascular malformations results mainly from improved diagnosis of minor defects. There has been no change over time in birth prevalence of more serious defects. Spontaneous year to year variation in numbers will make it difficult to ascribe any short term changes to any particular intervention. A two dimensional diagnostic hierarchy is offered as a standard.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wren C, Richmond S, Donaldson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Heart

Year: 2000

Volume: 83

Issue: 4

Pages: 414-419

ISSN (print): 1355-6037

ISSN (electronic): 1468-201X

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd


DOI: 10.1136/heart.83.4.414

PubMed id: 10722540


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric