Some Possible Causes Of Congenital Heart Defect

A congenital heart defect is a chronic disease which is characterized by an anatomic malformation of the heart or the vessels which occur during the development of a child within the uterus.

There are many physiologies that are seen in patients having a congenital heart defect. The most common physiology that is seen in patients is left to right shunts. Left to right shunts is a condition in which the oxygenated blood returns back to the lungs to get re-oxygenated. This causes problems with circulation.   

The exact cause of all congenital cardiac defects are not known but multiple studies have stated that there are many factors that could be responsible for the development of defects in a child. When a predisposed fetus is exposed to environmental triggers during the development period of a child, the risk of developing congenital heart defect increases.

 Causes Of Congenital Heart Defect

There are various factors that are associated with a congenital heart defect and such factors can be termed as risk factors. The health and lifestyle of a mother are directly associated with the development of a child.

1. Maternal diabetes

Numerous studies have stated that the incidence of cardiac abnormalities is higher with maternal diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease which is characterized by a high sugar level in the blood. It is a serious disorder accompanied by a large number of symptoms and complications. Diabetes occurs when there is a problem with insulin production, insulin action, or both. Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar level in the blood.

Also Read: How Breathing In Polluted Air Affects You?

It is strongly believed that maternal diabetes is associated with an increased risk of a congenital heart defect and if diabetes had been present for more than five years before pregnancy, the risk of developing congenital heart defect increases to nearly eightfold.  

2. Consumption of alcohol

Alcohol consumption is harmful to all, but when it comes to the fetus, it can work as a poison. Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with various defects in the fetus, including congenital heart defect. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can have a wide range of harmful effects on the developing fetus and this include craniofacial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, central nervous systems dysfunctions, and neurobehavioral disabilities.

When a mother consumes alcohol, it passes through the placenta and reaches a fetus. A fetus has a very ability to metabolize alcohol and as a result, alcohol damages the cells in the fetus. Alcohol also affects the blow of blood in a fetus, impaired blood flow in the body is largely associated with a congenital heart defect. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is not only associated with the increased risk of congenital heart defect but also other problems with a fetus such as problems in the normal development of the brain, and abnormal fetus weight.

3. Down syndrome

Down syndrome is one of the most common medical condition which is associated with congenital defects. Genetics is the primary cause of the down syndrome and it is associated with a large number of other health conditions such as heart defects, early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and hematopoietic disorders. Most often, children with down syndrome also experience respiratory disorders, hearing problems, childhood leukemia, and thyroid problems.

A congenital heart defect is one of the health condition that is associated with down syndrome. Patients having down syndrome are at high risk of suffering from a congenital heart defect. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which is caused due to extra copies on the 21st chromosome.

4. Rubella




It is strongly believed that there are certain infections that increase the risk of congenital heart defect such as rubella. Rubella is an infectious disease caused by virus and rubella virus during pregnancy cause serious problems for fetus such as miscarriage, or baby to be born with severe abnormalities such as congenital heart defect, blindness, and brain damage.  




Rubella is a serious disorder that can be transmitted from one person to another by getting into contact with an infected droplet in the air in the form of coughing, sneezing, or even laughing. Rubella is characterized by a large number of symptoms. It begins as swollen glands and is accompanied by symptoms like fatigue, inflammation in the eyes, fever, and joint pain. Rubella during pregnancy is one of the common cause of congenital heart defect.




Tags:   Types of congenital heart disease, Congenital heart disease treatment, Congenital heart disease in babies symptoms