The prognosis of children with congenital heart defects(CHDs) continues to improve with advancing surgical techniques; however, lack of information about modifiable risk factors for malformations in cardiovascular development impeded the prevention of CHDs. We investigated an association between maternal lifestyle factors and the risk of CHDs, because epidemiological studies have reported conflicting results regarding maternal lifestyle factors and the risk of CHDs recently. A review published on 2007 provided a summary of maternal exposures associated with an increased risk of CHDs. As part of noninherited risk factors, we conducted a brief overview of studies on the evidence linking common maternal lifestyle factors, specifically smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, caffeine, body mass index and psychological factors to the development of CHDs in offspring. Women who smoke and have an excessive body mass index(BMI) during pregnancy are suspected to be associated with CHDs in offspring. Our findings could cause public health policy makers to pay more attention to women at risk and could be used in the development of population-based prevention strategies to reduce the incidence and burden of CHDs. However, more prospective studies are needed to investigate the association between maternal lifestyle factors and CHDs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health