Maternal hypertensive disorders, antihypertensive medication use, and the risk of birth defects: a case-control study
SourceBjog : an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 122, 7, (2015), pp. 1002-1009
Article / Letter to editor
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Bjog : an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: To study previously identified associations between specific maternal hypertensive disorders and/or prenatal exposure to antihypertensive medication and birth defects. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: Slone Birth Defects Study, 1998-2010. POPULATION: A total of 5568 cases with birth defects and 7253 liveborn infants without malformations as controls. METHODS: Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for birth defects associated with prenatal exposure to maternal hypertensive disorders and/or antihypertensive medication were calculated using multivariable logistic regression analyses. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Specific birth defects previously linked to maternal hypertension or antihypertensive medication use during pregnancy. RESULTS: Non-pharmacologically managed chronic hypertension was associated with a three-fold risk of oesophageal atresia (95% CI 1.2-8.3), and pre-eclampsia superimposed on non-pharmacologically managed chronic hypertension was associated with ventricular septal defects (aOR 3.9, 95% CI 1.3-11.7) and atrial septal defects (aOR 6.5, 95% CI 1.8-23.7). For chronic hypertension that was pharmacologically treated early in pregnancy, increased risks were observed for first-degree hypospadias (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.4). Non-pharmacologically managed pre-eclampsia was related to second-/third-degree hypospadias and ventricular septal defects. Pharmacological treatment for gestational hypertension was associated with a number of congenital heart defects. CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm some, but not all, previously identified associations between pharmacologically treated and non-pharmacologically managed hypertensive disorders and specific birth defects. They support the hypothesis that physiological changes early in pregnancy that manifest in gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia may play a role in the aetiology of major birth defects, including congenital heart defects and hypospadias.
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