Dr. Emile Bacha - Why are some children born with congenital heart defects?

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So that's a question I get a lot by anxious parents who are typically expecting and know that their unborn child has a congenital heart defect from an echocardiogram that was obtained during routine pregnancy examination. It's very worrisome to them of course, a lot of anxiety and a lot of guilt, what I typically say to them is simply, you have been unlucky.

There's no known cause for congenital heart defects or for the genetic background of congenital heart effect, we don't really know which genes have been switched on or off, that cause congenital heart defect, there is a lot of research ongoing and it's not the glass of wine that you have had during your pregnancy, it's not the cigarette you've had during pregnancy, although you should not smoke again, but it is not really these factors that some woman may have had a glass of wine before even knowing she was pregnant, that so, it's not that.

It is again an unknown factor, and it's just as I said bad luck. The chances of having a child with congenital heart disease is about 1%, for, 0.8% to be precise for the general population.