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Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2011 Mar;25(2):135-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2010.01186.x. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Maternal reproductive history and the risk of isolated congenital malformations.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland.


We examined the relationship between maternal reproductive history and the newborn's risk of isolated congenital malformations in a large case-control cohort from the Polish Registry of Congenital Malformations. Congenital malformations were classified into four categories: isolated congenital heart defects (n=1673), isolated cleft palate (n=255), cleft lip with or without cleft palate (n=448) and renal agenesis (n=103). The case groups were compared with a shared group of 2068 controls recruited in the same time period and geographic area. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the risk associated with maternal gravidity and of previous miscarriages after accounting for maternal age and other potential risk factors. In unadjusted analyses, maternal gravidity was significantly associated with increased risk of all four classes of congenital malformations. After adjustment, a significant association persisted for congenital heart defects [odds ratio (OR)=1.22, [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09, 1.36], P=0.0007] and cleft lip with or without cleft palate (OR=1.21, [95% CI 1.09, 1.36], P=0.0005). A similar trend existed for isolated cleft palate (OR=1.18, [95% CI 1.02, 1.37], P=0.03). There was no appreciable increase in the risk of congenital malformations associated with a maternal history of miscarriages, but a trend for a protective effect on the occurrence of cleft lip with or without cleft palate was observed (OR=0.72, [95% CI 0.52, 0.99], P=0.045). Based on our data, maternal gravidity represents a significant risk factor for congenital heart defects and cleft lip with or without cleft palate in the newborn infant. Our data do not support an increase in risk because of past history of miscarriages.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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