Improved treatment of congenital heart defects (CHDs) has resulted in women with CHDs living to childbearing age. However, no US population-based systems exist to estimate pregnancy frequency or complications among women with CHDs. Cases were identified in multiple data sources from 3 surveillance sites: Emory University (EU) whose catchment area included 5 metropolitan Atlanta counties; Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA) whose catchment area was statewide; and New York State Department of Health (NY) whose catchment area included 11 counties. Cases were categorized into one of 5 mutually exclusive CHD severity groups collapsed to severe versus not severe; specific ICD-9-CM codes were used to capture pregnancy, gestational complications, and nongestational co-morbidities in women, age 11 to 50 years, with a CHD-related ICD-9-CM code. Pregnancy, CHD severity, demographics, gestational complications, co-morbidities, and insurance status were evaluated. ICD-9-CM codes identified 26,655 women with CHDs, of whom 5,672 (21.3%, range: 12.8% in NY to 22.5% in MA) had codes indicating a pregnancy. Over 3 years, age-adjusted proportion pregnancy rates among women with severe CHDs ranged from 10.0% to 24.6%, and 14.2% to 21.7% for women with nonsevere CHDs. Pregnant women with CHDs of any severity, compared with nonpregnant women with CHDs, reported more noncardiovascular co-morbidities. Insurance type varied by site and pregnancy status. These US population-based, multisite estimates of pregnancy among women with CHD indicate a substantial number of women with CHDs may be experiencing pregnancy and complications. In conclusion, given the growing adult population with CHDs, reproductive health of women with CHD is an important public health issue.
Click here to read the full article @ The American Journal of Cardiology