Variation in the prevalence of congenital heart defects by maternal race/ethnicity and infant sex

J Pediatr. 2010 Feb;156(2):259-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.07.058. Epub 2009 Oct 9.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of major congenital heart defects (CHD) by ethnicity and sex.

Study design: Data from the Florida Birth Defects Registry was used to conduct a retrospective cohort study with 8029 singleton infants with 11 CHDs born 1998-2003 to resident non-Hispanic (NH) white, NH-black, and Hispanic women aged 15 to 49. Defect-specific prevalence rates, ratios, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Poisson regression was used to calculate adjusted ethnic-specific rate ratios (RR) for each CHD. Statistical significance was P < .0001.

Results: Compared with NH-whites, NH-black males had significantly increased rates of pulmonary valve atresia/stenosis (RR = 1.66) but lower prevalence of aortic valve atresia/stenosis (RR = 0.33) and ventricular septal defect (VSD; RR = 0.78). Hispanic males had lower rates of aortic valve atresia/stenosis (RR = 0.28), coarctation of the aorta (RR = 0.61) and VSD (RR = 0.79). NH-black females had statistically significantly lower rates of VSD (RR = 0.75), and Hispanic females had lower rates of tetralogy of Fallot (RR = 0.54), VSD (RR = 0.84) and atrioventricular septal defects (RR = 0.53) compared with NH-whites.

Conclusions: We found differences in ethnic susceptibilities to CHD by sex, but the cause remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Susceptibility / ethnology
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / ethnology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data