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Risk Factors for Congenital Heart Disease CHD in Vellore, India

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The aim of this study was to investigate the probable risk factors implicated in the aetiology of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in Vellore population, India. CHD is now a most common cause of birth defects. The burden of CHD in India is enormous due to very high birth rate. This emphasizes the importance of this group of heart diseases. The cause of 90% of the CHDs is multifactorial, but little is known about the environmental risk factors. Thus a matched case control study was conducted in Vellore, India, aiming at investigating the risk factors responsible for the causation of CHDs. Descriptive statistics was reported as mean value and 95% Confidence Interval (CI). Chi-square (χ^2) test was used for testing the association between two variables. Univariate analysis was performed followed by multivariate logistic regression analysis to provide the estimated effect of each risk factor. Thus Chi-square (χ^2) test showed that significant risk factors that are associated with CHDs were maternal and paternal age at pregnancy, rural residence, birth order, birth weight of the individual, consanguineous marriages, family history of inherited disorder, maternal drug exposure, maternal illness, maternal infection, socio-economic status of the family. Logistic regression analysis revealed that only maternal and paternal age at pregnancy, rural residence, birth order and birth weight of the individual were only found significantly associated in the development of CHDs. This study emphasizes on the augmenting pre-marital counselling and regular health counselling during pregnancy, extending health education to women of childbearing age and need of occupational health system to monitor the residential areas for risk of any environmental teratogen.

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