Descriptive Epidemiology of Non-syndromic Complete Atrioventricular Canal Defects


Laura E. Mitchell, University of Texas School of Public Health, 1200 Herman Pressler Dr., Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail:


Background:  Complete atrioventricular canal defects (CAVC) are a common heart defect, but few epidemiologic studies have evaluated non-syndromic CAVC. Risk factors for non-syndromic CAVC have not been well established.

Methods:  To assess the relationship between risk for non-syndromic CAVC in offspring and several sociodemographic and reproductive parental factors, including maternal diabetes and obesity, we conducted Poisson regression analyses, using data ascertained through the Texas Birth Defects Registry, a large, population-based birth defects registry. Data were evaluated for 563 non-syndromic cases with CAVC.

Results:  Significant associations were observed between non-syndromic CAVC in offspring and maternal pregestational diabetes (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 6.74; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.67, 12.37), gestational diabetes (aPR 1.69; 95% CI 1.03, 2.79) and obesity (aPR 1.69; 95% CI 1.24, 2.30).

Conclusions:  Our findings add non-syndromic CAVC to the growing list of birth defects that appear to be associated with maternal diabetes and obesity.