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J Med Liban. 2004 Jul-Sep;52(3):121-5.

[Cumulative incidence and distribution of congenital heart diseases in newborns in Beirut and its southern suburb (1999-2002)].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Départements de Pédiatrie, Université Libanaise, Faculté des Sciences médicales, Beyrouth, Liban.



To analyze the incidence and distribution of congenital heart diseases (CHD) in Beirut and its southern suburb.


27834 consecutive live births were examined (13894 boys and 13940 girls), between 1999 and 2002, in six hospital centers in Beirut and its southern suburb. CHD were analyzed according to age at diagnosis, sex and severity of malformation. The rate of consanguinity among the parents of the studied population was studied.


249 CHD were detected (cumulative incidence: 8.95 per thousand), of whom 81.5% while still in the neonatal/antenatal period. Ventricular septal defect was the commonest (38.2%), followed by pulmonary stenosis (9.6%) and atrial septal defect (7.6%); 23.3% of CHD were cyanotic. The frequency of double outlet right ventricle, pulmonary atresia with VSD, aortic stenosis, and atrio-ventricular canal were higher than reported in the international literature, but comparable to reports from the Arab Gulf countries (except aortic stenosis). In the affected children, the rate of consanguinity (1st degree) among their parents was 17.7%.


The incidence and distribution of CHD in the studied area is similar to that reported in the literature, but differences were observed concerning some types of malformations. We believe that certain measures are needed to improve the detection of CHD that were not detected early in life. Such measures include: the administration of oxymetry tests before discharge from nursery, bringing the first neonatal examination post-discharge down to age 5 to 15 days of life, offering free diagnostic care for children of poor population, and the participation of the physicians in Lebanon to a national registry for cardiac diseases in children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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