The aim of the article is to review the published scientific literature and epidemiological studies about the effect of selected environmental risk factors on congenital heart defects in infants. According to recent reports, the prevalence of congenital heart defects is around 1% of live births. Congenital heart malformations are the leading cause of infant mortality. Unfortunately, the majority of the causes of heart defects remain unknown. These malformations are caused by interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The article reviews selected environmental risk factors: maternal illnesses and conditions associated with metabolic disorder (maternal diabetes, obesity, phenylketonuria), maternal lifestyle factors (alcohol use, smoking), which may increase the risk of congenital heart defects.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited