Periconceptional changes in weight and risk of delivering offspring with conotruncal heart defects

Emily Hawkins Carter, Suzan L. Carmichael, Krista Birnie, Wei Yang, Edward J. Lammer, Gary M. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Maternal nutritional status has been recognized as a contributor to conotruncal heart defects, but there is limited understanding of the specific nutrition-related factors involved. In this California case-control study of 296 conotruncal cases and 695 nonmalformed controls we explored whether weight loss during early pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of d-transposition of the great arteries (dTGA) and tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) conotruncal defects. Methods: During telephone interviews women were asked whether they were dieting to lose weight or using weight loss remedies during 2 months before or 2 months after conception, and how much weight they gained or lost in the first 2 months of pregnancy or during the year before pregnancy. Results: Odds ratios for dieting to lose weight and use of weight loss remedies for dTGA and TOF were not substantially elevated and all had confidence intervals that included 1.0. Mothers who had a loss of >5 lbs in the first 2 months of pregnancy as well as mothers who lost and gained >5 lbs in the first 2 months of pregnancy also did not show a significant increased risk of delivering case infants when compared with women with no weight change in the year before pregnancy. Conclusion: Given current recommendations about limited weight gain for obese pregnant women, these data indicate that dieting may not substantially increase a fetus' risk of having a conotruncal defect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-846
Number of pages4
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart development
  • Nutrition
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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