Risk factors of congenital anomalies in Karbala

  • Khalid k. alaarji Karbala University – College of Medicine


BACKGROUND; Congenital anomalies can be defined as structural or functional abnormalities present at birth. They are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Various risk factors have been identified as contributing factors to these defects. The objectives of the present study are to determine the frequency of different structural congenital anomalies and possible risk factors responsible for these anomalies.

METHODS; This case - control study was carried out in the neonatal intensive care unit of Kerbala teaching hospital for children in Karbala / Iraq. The study was conducted over 18 month’s period from January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015. All babies admitted to neonatal care unit with congenital anomalies during this period were included apart from neonate with suspicion of inborn error of metabolism and those with chromosomal abnormalities because there are no facilities for definite diagnosis of these diseases.

      Seventy seven newborns with congenital anomalies included in this study, males 47(61.04%) and females 30 (38.96%) and 100 newborn without congenital anomalies, male 59 (59%) and female 41 (41%), selected randomly as a control.

     The statistical method which used to signify the risk factors is relative risk (RR). [RR = 1 no effect, RR > 1 is a risk factor, and RR < 1 is protective]

RESULTS; In present study, the congenital anomalies related to the cardiovascular system (CVS) were the most common 33(42.86%). Males 47(61.04%) were more commonly affected than females 30 (38.96%). Cases of congenital anomaly were found in 60 (77.92%) of multiparas, whereas 17 (22.08%) in primiparas. It has been seen that 45 (58.44%) of the mothers were 20 - 30 years old, 15 (19.48%) of the mothers were between 30 - 40 years old, and 6 (7.79%) of the mothers were over the 40 years old.

    In the present study, 54 (70.13%) mothers of babies delivered with congenital anomalies had a history of consanguinity. Also, 6 (7.79%) mothers of babies delivered with congenital anomalies had a history of diabetes mellitus. CONCLUSION; The congenital anomalies were cardiovascular system (CVS) 33(42.86%), gastrointestinal system 25 (32.47%), and central nervous system 14 (18.18%).


The main risk factors were consanguinity and maternal diabetes.