Nausea during pregnancy and congenital heart defects: a population-based case-control study.

The authors investigated the possible association between a mother's nausea during pregnancy and her child's risk for a congenital heart defect using data from the population-based Atlanta Birth Defects Case-Control Study conducted in 1982-1983. Case infants (n = 998) had nonsyndromic congenital heart defects and control infants (n = 3,029) had no congenital defects. Nausea during pregnancy (NP) was graded in eight levels of "severity" based on its onset, frequency, and duration. Level 1, the most severe NP, was associated with a lower risk for a congenital heart defect in the child (odds ratio (OR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67-0.99) compared with no nausea. The lower risk tended to disappear with less severe levels of nausea, and the trend was statistically significant. Overall, early NP (levels 1 to 4 combined) with use of antinausea medication, particularly Bendectin (doxylamine, dicyclomine (dropped from the formulation in 1976), pyridoxine (vitamin B6)), was associated with a lower risk for congenital heart defects compared with: 1) absence of nausea (OR = 0.67, 95% CI 0.50-0.92), and 2) nausea without medication use (OR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.50-0.94). The results suggest that pregnancy hormones and factors or, alternatively, a component of Bendectin (most probably pyridoxine) may be important for normal heart development. These findings outline potential areas for future research on and prevention of congenital heart defects.
AuthorsR S Boneva, C A Moore, L Botto, L Y Wong, J D Erickson
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology (Am J Epidemiol) Vol. 149 Issue 8 Pg. 717-25 (Apr 15 1999) ISSN: 0002-9262 [Print] United States
PMID10206621 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antiemetics
  • Pyridoxine
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiemetics (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Heart Defects, Congenital (epidemiology, etiology)
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nausea (drug therapy, epidemiology)
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications (drug therapy, epidemiology)
  • Pyridoxine (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Risk
  • Urban Population (statistics & numerical data)

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