Descriptive study of congenital malformations and related maternal and foetal factors

Rasheed SM, Mohd Haseeb


Background:The significance of congenital malformations lies not only in their contribution to mortality but also in causing disability and handicaps. Congenital malformations may be due to genetic factors, environmental factors or a combination of these two factors in some cases. Awareness of local prevalence and pattern of malformations with associated maternal and foetal factors can help the doctors rendering medical care to identify ‘at risk’ cases early and plan appropriate and effective intervention.  Present study describes the associated maternal and foetal factors of congenital malformations in newborns during the study period at Government Medical College and Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

Methods: This study was a hospital based cross sectional study. Seven thousand and twelve (7012) babies born over a period extending from 1 March 1994 to 31 April 1995 at Government Medical College and Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India were studied for congenital malformations diagnosed clinically within 3 days of life. Both major and minor malformations were recorded. Minor variations such as capillary haemangioma, Mongolian spots, superficial sacral dimples, small umbilical hernias, saddle nose, mild bowing of tibia and hydrocele of the testis were not considered as malformation. Out of 7012 subjects, 66 newborns (0.94%) were found to be affected with congenital malformations. Maternal age, religion, birth order of baby, gestational age, birth weight and risk factors like consanguinity, fever in first trimester, polyhydramnios, ante partum haemorrhage, toxaemia and teratogens like infections (TORCH), drugs and radiation were analyzed in relation to the incidence of congenital malformations.

Results:Highest incidence of congenital malformations noted in maternal age group of 31 years and above followed by maternal age group of 15 to 20 years. There was not much difference in congenital malformations among babies of mothers belonging to different religions. Birth order of six and above showed highest incidence of congenital malformations followed by birth order of one. Incidence of congenital malformations was more in low birth weight babies (<2500 grams) as compared to normal birth weight babies and the difference was statistically significant. Incidence of congenital malformations was more in preterm babies as compared to full term babies and the difference was statistically significant. There was a history of antenatal risk factors among 11 cases out of 66 cases of congenital malformations. Five mothers had history of polyhydramnios; history of first-degree consanguinity was present in three cases, toxaemia of pregnancy was present in two cases and one mother had history of high-grade fever in first trimester of pregnancy.

Conclusions:Based on our observations and available literature, we observed that maternal age, birth order, birth weight, gestational age have an influence on frequency of congenital malformations whereas there was no influence of maternal religion on frequency of congenital malformations.  



Congenital malformations, Low birth weight baby, Prematurity, Maternal age

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