Hepatitis B during pregnancy increases the risk of congenital heart disease in children.

Congenital heart diseases in children have been linked to maternal hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection early in pregnancy. However, the first study to examine the connection between maternal preconception HBV infection and congenital heart diseases (CHD) in newborn infants was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nearest-neighbor (1:4) propensity score matching was used in the retrospective cohort study, which used data from the National Free Preconception Checkup Project (NFPCP) from 2013 to 2019. For mainland Chinese women of childbearing age who have the intention of conceiving, the NTPCP is a national free health service.

The group consisted of women between the ages of 20 and 49 who became pregnant within a year of having a preconception exam. From September to December 2022, the data were analyzed, with multiple births excluded. The statuses of the pregnant women’s HBV infections were recorded by the researchers, who classified them as either uninfected, previously infected, or newly infected.

CHDs, which were obtained prospectively from the NFPCP’s birth defect registration card, were the primary study outcome. The researchers used logistic regression with robust error variances to estimate the correlation between the maternal preconception HBV infection status and the risk of CHD in the offspring after adjusting for confounding variables.

The final analysis included 3690427 participants following propensity score matching in a 1:4 ratio. Of this companion, 738945 ladies were contaminated with HBV, incorporating 393332 with a past disease and 345613 with another contamination.

An expected 0.03% (n = 800 of 2951482) of ladies uninfected with HBV bias and ladies recently tainted with HBV had a baby with CHDs. Relatively, 0.04% (n = 141 of 393332) of ladies tainted with HBV before pregnancy had a baby with CHDs.

Multivariable change uncovered ladies with HBV disease preceding pregnancy had a higher gamble of CHDs in posterity, contrasted with posterity of uninfected ladies. Additionally, compared to couples who were uninfected with HBV prior to pregnancy (n = 680 of 2610968), there was a higher incidence of CHDs in the offspring of previously infected women and uninfected men (n = 93 of 252919) or previously infected men and uninfected women (n = 43 of 95735).

The researchers came to the conclusion that having a previous HBV infection during pregnancy was significantly linked to CHDs in infants. Women who had been infected prior to pregnancy had a significantly higher risk of CHDs than men who had not been infected with HBV.

The researchers argued that these findings highlight the significance of hepatitis B vaccination and HBV testing. In order to reduce the likelihood of their children developing congenital heart diseases, people who have been infected with HBV in the past should take serious precautions.

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