Background Events in pregnancy play an important role in predisposing the newborn to the risk of developing CHD. This study evaluated the association between maternal preeclampsia and her offspring risk of CHD. Methods This is a cohort study of 90 sex-matched neonates (45 each born to women with preeclampsia and normal pregnancy) in Jos, Nigeria. Anthropometry was taken shortly after delivery using standard protocols. Echocardiography was performed within 24 hours of life and repeated 7 and 28 days later. SPSS version 25 was used in all analyses. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results Congenital heart disease (CHD) was observed in 27 (30.0%) of newborns of women with preeclampsia compared with 11 (12.1%) of newborns without preeclampsia (p<0.001) at the end of 7 days and in 19 (21.1%) of newborns of women with preeclampsia and 3 (3.3%) of newborns of women without preeclampsia by the end of the 4th week of life (p<0.001). Overall, ASD (4 newborns), PDA (21 newborns), patent foramen ovale (14 newborns) and VSD (2 newborns) were the prevalent lesions found among all the newborns studied in the first week of life. Isolated atrial and ventricular septal defects were seen in 4 (4.4%) of the newborns of women with preeclampsia. Being the infant of a woman with preeclampsia was associated with about 8-fold increased risk of having CHD (OR = 7.9, 95% CI = 2.5–24.9, p<0.001). Conclusion CHD may be more common in newborns of women with preeclampsia underscoring the need for fetal and newborn screening for CHD in women with preeclampsia so as to improve their infant’s well being.
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