Do Multivitamin or Folic Acid Supplements Reduce the Risk for Congenital Heart Defects? Evidence and Gaps

Am J Med Genet A. 2003 Aug 30;121A(2):95-101. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.20132.


Congenital heart defects are among the most common congenital anomalies and are the leading cause of infant death due to congenital anomalies. Except for a few known measures, effective primary prevention is not yet feasible for most heart anomalies. Recent reports have associated the use of multivitamin supplements around the time of conception and during early pregnancy with a reduced risk for heart defects in the offspring. We review and discuss the evidence and suggest a framework for further investigation in this area.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Forecasting
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins
  • Folic Acid