Korean J Epidemiol.  1999 Dec;21(2):234-247.

A Population-Based Case-Control Study on the Risk Factors of Congenital Heart Malformations

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College, Korea University.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College, Konyang University.
  • 3Uijongbu Medical Center.


The multifactorial hypothesis is proposed as a working hypothesis which encompass both the genetic and environmental factors known to participate in the etiology of congenital heart malformations. So, it is believed that avoidance of suspected environmental factors in early pregnancy is the most certain preventive measure of congenital heart malformations. This study has been undertaken in order to find the possible environmental risk factors for congenital heart malformations in Korea. A total of 114 mothers of first graders of the elementary schools with congenital heart malformations confirmed through the screening program in Kyonggi Province from 1992 to 1995 were included as cases. And 206 mothers of healthy students matched by sex and elementary schools comprised the control group. Environmental risk factors including drug use during the first trimester of pregnancy, and other confounders were collected by telephone interview using standardized questionnaires by well trained interviewers. The result of multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that congenital heart malformation were associated with family history of congenital heart malformations(OR=2.94, 95% CI: 1.08, 7.96), the order of birth(OR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.79). And the coffee consumption over 14 cups/week during early pregnancy showed marginal significance(OR=3.52, 95%CI: 0.98, 12.62). The mother's age at the subject birth and father's smoking at home were significant in linear trend test(p<0.05). It is recommended that the genetic counselling and the avoidance of known environmental risk factors in early pregnancy were needed to prevent congenital heart malformations.


Congenital heart malformation; Case-control study; Telephone survey; Odds ratio
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