Congenital heart defects and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Congenit Heart Dis. 2007 Jul-Aug;2(4):250-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2007.00105.x.


Objective: Review of the prevalence of congenital heart defects (CHD) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Design: We conducted a search of the Medline and Pubmed databases to identify papers reporting the association. We then searched the reference lists of the papers and reference books for additional sources.

Results: We found 29 studies that met our inclusion criteria. In the 12 case series studies of subjects with FASD, the proportion of cases with a CHD (atrial [ASD] and ventricular [VSD] septal defects, other defects, or unspecified CHD) ranged from 33% to 100%. From the 14 retrospective studies, the rate of septal defects was 21%, other structural defects 6% and unspecified defects was 12%. For the 2 case-control studies, the odds of CHD ranged from 1.0 (subjects with fetal alcohol effect) to 18.0 (subjects with fetal alcohol syndrome). In the 1 prospective study of CHD the OR for a child to have CHD and FASD was 1.0.

Key conclusion: Pediatric cardiologists may have frequent contact with children with FASD and increased levels of attention to prenatal alcohol exposure as a potential etiology of CHD is indicated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology