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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


BENAVIDES-LARA, Adriana; FAERRON ANGEL, Jorge Enrique; UMANA SOLIS, Lila  and  ROMERO ZUNIGA, Juan José. Epidemiology and registry of congenital heart disease in Costa Rica. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.1, pp.31-38. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: Characterize the population of children born with congenital heart disease (CHD) in Costa Rica and evaluate the country's registry processes. METHODS: Exploratory observational study that included all children with CHD diagnosed at the National Children's Hospital between 1 May 2006 and 1 May 2007. Considering children under 1 year of age and their respective birth cohort, prevalence was estimated by sex, type of heart disease, age at diagnosis, maternal age, habitual residence, and associated extracardiac malformations, with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). The data was compared with those of the Congenital Disease Registry Center (CREC). RESULTS: During the period studied, 534 cases with CHD were diagnosed. There were 473 cases in children under 1 year of age in a birth cohort of 77 140 children. Prevalence was 0.6% (95% CI: 0.5-0.7). Based on CREC data, it was demonstrated that 71% of the cases were not detected at birth. The average age of diagnosis in infants under 1 year of age was 46.6 days. There were no differences by sex. Prevalence of CHD in children of mothers aged 35 years or over was significantly higher. However, when chromosomal abnormalities were excluded, the risk was no longer statistically significant. The provinces in the country with maritime ports were the areas with the highest risk in children of adolescent mothers. The most common CHDs were ventricular and atrial septal defects, patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonary valve stenosis, atrioventricular septal defects, coarctation of the aorta, and tetralogy of Fallot. Thirtyfour percent of the cases of CHD were multiple, 11.2% were associated with chromosomal abnormalities, and 19% had associated congenital malformations. CONCLUSIONS: CHD prevalence in Costa Rica is within the range reported globally. Significant underreporting of CHD was found in the CREC, primarily due to the age criteria applied. The results suggest that maternal age (under 20 and over 34) is a factor associated with CHD.

Keywords : Heart defects, congenital; child health; infant; infant, newborn; Costa Rica.

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