The epidemiology of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction defects in Texas, 2002-2008: An update and assessment of effect heterogeneity

Bibek Raj Bista, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) defects are an important group of congenital heart defects (CHDs) because of their associated mortality and long-term complications. LVOT defects include aortic valve stenosis (AVS), coarctation of aorta (CoA), and hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Despite their clinical significance, their etiology is not completely understood. Even though the individual component phenotypes (AVS, CoA, and HLHS) may have different etiologies, they are often "lumped" together in epidemiological studies. Though "lumping" of component phenotypes may improve the power to detect associations, it may also lead to ambiguous findings if these defects are etiologically distinct. This is due to potential for effect heterogeneity across component phenotypes. This study had two aims: (1) to identify the association between various risk factors and both the component (i.e., split) and composite (i.e., lumped) LVOT phenotypes, and (2) to assess the effect heterogeneity of risk factors across component phenotypes of LVOT defects. This study was a secondary data analysis. Primary data were obtained from the Texas Birth Defect Registry (TBDR). TBDR uses an active surveillance method to ascertain birth defects in Texas. All cases of non complex LVOT defects which met our inclusion criteria during the period of 2002–2008 were included in the study. The comparison groups included all unaffected live births for the same period (2002–2008). Data from vital statistics were used to evaluate associations. Statistical associations between selected risk factors and LVOT defects was determined by calculating crude and adjusted prevalence ratio using Poisson regression analysis. Effect heterogeneity was evaluated using polytomous logistic regression. There were a total of 2,353 cases of LVOT defects among 2,730,035 live births during the study period. There were a total of 1,311 definite cases of non-complex LVOT defects for analysis after excluding "complex" cardiac cases and cases associated with syndromes (n=168). Among infant characteristics, males were at a significantly higher risk of developing LVOT defects compared to females. Among maternal characteristics, significant associations were seen with maternal age > 40 years (compared to maternal age 20–24 years) and maternal residence in Texas-Mexico border (compared to non-border residence). Among birth characteristics, significant associations were seen with preterm birth and small for gestation age LVOT defects. When evaluating effect heterogeneity, the following variables had significantly different effects among the component LVOT defect phenotypes: infant sex, plurality, maternal age, maternal race/ethnicity, and Texas-Mexico border residence. This study found significant associations between various demographic factors and LVOT defects. While many findings from this study were consistent with results from previous studies, we also identified new factors associated with LVOT defects. Additionally, this study was the first to assess effect heterogeneity across LVOT defect component phenotypes. These findings contribute to a growing body of literature on characteristics associated with LVOT defects.

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Recommended Citation

Bista, Bibek Raj, "The epidemiology of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction defects in Texas, 2002-2008: An update and assessment of effect heterogeneity" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1518767.