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Med J Aust. 2004 Jun 21;180(12):614-7.

Congenital heart defects in Central Australia.

Author information

1
Paediatric Department, Alice Springs Hospital, NT. bolisettys@sesahs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the incidence of congenital heart defects (CHD) in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal infants in Central Australia and to compare this with the incidence elsewhere in Australia.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Data on cases were obtained from patient records of the Alice Springs Hospital, Central Australia, the sole referral centre for paediatric and initial cardiac diagnostic services for the region.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients with CHD proven by echocardiography reported between 1 January 1993 and 30 June 2000.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Incidence of CHD using all live births in Central Australia as the denominator.

RESULTS:

108 patients with CHD were detected among 6156 live births (incidence, 17.5 per 1000; 95% CI, 14.9-21.7 per 1000); 57 of 2991 were Aboriginal (19.0 per 1000; 95% CI, 14.4-24.6 per 1000) and 51 of 3165 were non-Aboriginal (16.1 per 1000; 95% CI, 12.0-21.1 per 1000). The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant (relative risk, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.81-1.72). CHD incidence in Central Australia was significantly higher than that reported for other parts of Australia (4.3 per 1000 live births in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, 1981-1984; 7.65 and 12 per 1000 total births in Western Australia, 1980-1989, and South Australia, 1993-2000, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

The high rates of CHD in Central Australia may partly reflect the high utilisation of echocardiography for assessing minor lesions. However, the incidence of both major and minor types of CHD was significantly higher than previously reported from other regions of Australia. The role of socioenvironmental factors in this high incidence should be explored.

PMID:
15200357
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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