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Socioeconomic Status Tied to Detection of Congenital Heart Defects

Prenatal detection of transposition of great arteries lower in rural areas, those with lower socioeconomic status, Hispanics

MONDAY, May 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Lower socioeconomic quartile (SEQ), Hispanic ethnicity, and rural residence are associated with lower prenatal detection (PND) of congenital heart disease, specifically transposition of the great arteries (TGA), according to a study published online May 17 in Circulation.

Anita Krishnan, M.D., from the Children’s National Heart Institute in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort study involving fetuses and infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) or TGA with first-time evaluation at a participating institution between 2012 and 2016. The authors examined associations of SEQ, insurance type, race/ethnicity, rural residence, and distance of residence with PND of HLHS or TGA.

Data were included for 1,862 individuals (1,171 with HLHS [92 percent PND] and 691 with TGA [58 percent PND]) at 21 centers (19 in the United States). The researchers found that lower SEQ was associated with lower PND in HLHS and TGA in the United States, with the largest effect in the lower SEQ of pregnancies with fetal TGA (risk ratios, 0.78 and 0.77 for quartiles 1 and 2, respectively, versus quartile 4). Lower PND in TGA was also seen in association with Hispanic ethnicity (risk ratio, 0.85) and rural residence (risk ratio, 0.78).

“While the findings are not completely surprising and resonate with clinical experience, the strength of the associations was surprising,” Krishnan said in a statement.

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