Paternal risk factors for isolated membranous ventricular septal defects

C. K. Ewing, C. A. Loffredo, T. H. Beaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A case-control study using data from the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study (BWIS) examined possible paternal risk factors in the etiology of isolated membranous ventricular septal defects (VSD). There were 641 total VSD case infants and 3,549 randomly selected control infants ascertained between 1981 and 1989. Isolated membranous VSDs were identified in 499 cases. Socio-demographic factors (such as parental age and race), social habits, and medical conditions were analyzed by multiple logistic regression in order to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Paternal age was not found to be a risk factor per se, but small positive associations were found for some social habits and maternal factors. Significant associations were found for paternal marijuana use (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05-1.76), African-American race of the infant (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.09- 1.65), and for cocaine use among older fathers (OR 3.92, 95% CI 1.30-11.86). These associations support a multifactorial etiologic hypothesis for isolated membranous VSDs and point to some interesting parental behavioral and medical considerations which may contribute to risk for this common birth defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cocaine
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Epidemiology of risk factors
  • Marijuana
  • Paternal age
  • Race
  • Ventricular septal defect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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