Environmental Pollution

Liu, Xiaoqing, Zhiqiang Nie, Jimei Chen, Xiaoling Guo, Yanqiu Ou, Guanchun Chen, Jinzhuang Mai, Wei Gong, Yong Wu, Xiangmin Gao, Yanji Qu, Erin M. Bell*, Shao Lin*, and Jian Zhuang.

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are a major cause of death in infancy and childhood. Major risk factors for most CHDs, particularly those resulting from the combination of environmental exposures with social determinants and behaviors, are still unknown. This study evaluated the main effect of maternal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and its interaction with social-demographics and environmental factors on CHDs in China. A population-based, matched case-control study of 9452 live-born infants and stillborn fetuses was conducted using the Guangdong Registry of Congenital Heart Disease data (2004–2014). The CHDs were evaluated by obstetrician, pediatrician, or cardiologist, and confirmed by cardia tomography/catheterization. Controls were randomly chosen from singleton newborns without any malformation, born in the same hospital as the cases and 1:1 matched by infant sex, time of conception, and parental residence (same city and town to ensure sufficient geographical distribution for analyses). Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect information on demographics, behavior patterns, maternal disease/medication, and environmental exposures. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals of ETS exposure on CHDs while controlling for all risk factors. Interactive effects were evaluated using a multivariate delta method for maternal demographics, behavior, and environmental exposures on the ETS-CHD relationship. Mothers exposed to ETS during the first trimester of pregnancy were more likely to have infants with CHD than mothers who did not (aOR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.25–1.66). We also observed a significant dose-response relationship when mothers were exposed to ETS and an increasing number of risk factors and CHDs. There were greater than additive interactions for maternal ETS and migrant status, low household income and paternal alcohol consumption on CHDs. Maternal low education also modified the ETS-CHD association on the multiplicative scale. These findings may help to identify high-risk populations for CHD, providing an opportunity for targeted preventive interventions.

The full article

* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff