Risk Factors for Congenital Heart Defects among Neonates in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Amaewhule O. *

Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Otaigbe B. E.

Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Opara P. I.

Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Introduction: Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common congenital anomalies in the world but there is a paucity of data regarding possible causes or risk factors. Babies born with severe forms of these defects are likely to die in the neonatal period.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for CHDs among neonates delivered in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Methods: Using a case control study design, 150 neonates were included in the study. Fifty of the neonates with CHD and 100 controls were selected from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Obio Cottage Hospital and Primary Health Centre Rumuigbo between November 2019 to March 2020. The biodata of the parents and socio-demographic information were obtained through an interviewer-administered questionnaire to the mothers. Physical examination and echocardiograghy were performed on all the neonates. The data obtained were analyzed using the T-test, Spearman correlation coefficient and multi-variable logistic regression.

Results: Based on the results of multivariate logistic regression, the risk factors identified in this study were proximity to oil/gas flaring station, history of diabetes in pregnancy, high birth order and use of  pregnacare during pregnancy (p<0.05).

The study observed no significant difference in gender of neonates, gestational age status, birth weight, socioeconomic status, family history of CHD, advanced maternal age, fever in pregnancy, mode of conception, ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy, and gestational plurality.

Conclusion: Risk factors for CHD in Port Harcourt include diabetes mellitus in pregnancy, use of supplements such as pregnacare in pregnancy, high birth order and proximity to oil/gas station.

Keywords: Congenital heart defects, neonates, congenital anomalies, cardiology

How to Cite

Amaewhule O., Otaigbe B. E., & Opara P. I. (2023). Risk Factors for Congenital Heart Defects among Neonates in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Cardiology Research, 6(1), 363–369. Retrieved from https://journalajcr.com/index.php/AJCR/article/view/181


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