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Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2009 Jul;23(4):321-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2009.01045.x.

Maternal residential proximity to waste sites and industrial facilities and conotruncal heart defects in offspring.

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  • 1Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX 78714-9347, USA.


Most studies of the relationship between maternal residential proximity to sources of environmental pollution and congenital cardiovascular malformations have combined heart defects into one group or broad subgroups. The current case-control study examined whether risk of conotruncal heart defects, including subsets of specific defects, was associated with maternal residential proximity to hazardous waste sites and industrial facilities with recorded air emissions. Texas Birth Defects Registry cases were linked to their birth or fetal death certificate. Controls without birth defects were randomly selected from birth certificates. Distances from maternal addresses at delivery to National Priority List (NPL) waste sites, state superfund waste sites, and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities were determined for 1244 cases (89.5% of those eligible) and 4368 controls (88.0%). Living within 1 mile of a hazardous waste site was not associated with risk of conotruncal heart defects [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.54, 1.27]. This was true whether looking at most types of defects or waste sites. Only truncus arteriosus showed statistically elevated ORs with any waste site (crude OR: 2.80, 95% CI 1.19, 6.54) and with NPL sites (crude OR: 4.63, 95% CI 1.18, 13.15; aOR 4.99, 95% CI 1.26, 14.51), but the latter was based on only four exposed cases. There was minimal association between conotruncal heart defects and proximity to TRI facilities (aOR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.91, 1.33). Stratification by maternal age or race/ethnic group made little difference in effect estimates for waste sites or industrial facilities. In this study population, maternal residential proximity to waste sites or industries with reported air emissions was not associated with conotruncal heart defects or its subtypes in offspring, with the exception of truncus arteriosus.

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