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Temporal Variation of Birth Prevalence of Congenital Heart Disease in the United States




This is a longitudinal analysis of the largest and most comprehensive inpatient care database in the United States to determine temporal variation of birth prevalence of congenital heart disease (CHD) diagnosis, adjusting for potentially confounding factors.


We compared all entries of CHD diagnoses in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database in 1998 and 2008 to determine differences in birth prevalence of overall CHD and specific CHD phenotypes stratified by race, gender, socioeconomic status, and geographical location.


CHD prevalence was 10.2/1000 in 1998 and 10.8/1000 live births in 2008, without significant changes in prevalence (P = .09). Prevalence of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 1.9 to 2.8 per 1000 (P < .001), and this temporal increase remained statistically significant after stratification by race, income status, and geographic location. Prevalence of mild CHD increased from 8.0 to 9.1 per 1000 (P = .01), with most of this increase occurring among Caucasians and the upper socioeconomic class. There was a decrease in prevalence of severe CHD from 1.5 to 0.9 (P = .03), while prevalence of moderate CHD and all other specific CHD phenotypes remained unchanged in both cohorts.


We report increased prevalence of isolated patent ductus arteriosus and mild CHD; decreased prevalence of severe CHD; and unchanged prevalence of overall CHD and all other specific CHD phenotype. We speculate that increased prevalence of mild CHD was due to increased case detection because of improvement in echocardiography. Decrease in diagnosis of severe CHD could be due to the impact of pregnancy termination.