Maternal Lyme disease and congenital heart disease: A case-control study in an endemic area

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Mar;180(3 Pt 1):711-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(99)70277-2.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether maternal Lyme disease increases the risk of congenital heart defect.

Study design: This retrospective case-control study was carried out at a medical center in a suburban area where Lyme disease is endemic. Case patients comprised 796 children with a diagnosis of congenital cardiac anomaly. Control subjects comprised 704 children without cardiac defects selected from the records of the same pediatric cardiology service. Maternal histories were obtained through a mailed questionnaire survey. Unconditional logistic regression analyses examined the relationship between a history of preconception and prenatal clinical Lyme disease or tick bite and case or control status.

Results: There was no association between congenital heart defect and maternal tick bite (adjusted odds ratio 1.1, 95% confidence interval 0.5-2.5) or maternal Lyme disease within 3 months of conception or during pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio 0.9; 95% confidence interval 0.2-3.6).

Conclusion: A woman who has been bitten by a tick or is treated for Lyme disease during or before pregnancy is not at increased risk for giving birth to a child with a congenital heart defect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Lyme Disease / complications*
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology
  • Medical Records
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires