Genome-Wide De Novo Variants in Congenital Heart Disease Are Not Associated With Maternal Diabetes or Obesity

Sarah U. Morton, Alexandre C. Pereira, Daniel Quiat, Felix Richter, Alexander Kitaygorodsky, Jacob Hagen, Daniel Bernstein, Martina Brueckner, Elizabeth Goldmuntz, Richard W. Kim, Richard P. Lifton, George A. Porter, Martin Tristani-Firouzi, Wendy K. Chung, Amy Roberts, Bruce D. Gelb, Yufeng Shen, Jane W. Newburger, J. G. Seidman, Christine E. Seidman

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common anomaly at birth, with a prevalence of ≈1%. While infants born to mothers with diabetes or obesity have a 2- to 3-fold increased incidence of CHD, the cause of the increase is unknown. Damaging de novo variants (DNV) in coding regions are more common among patients with CHD, but genome-wide rates of coding and noncoding DNVs associated with these prenatal exposures have not been studied in patients with CHD. Methods: DNV frequencies were determined for 1812 patients with CHD who had whole-genome sequencing and prenatal history data available from the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium's CHD GENES study (Genetic Network). The frequency of DNVs was compared between subgroups using t test or linear model. Results: Among 1812 patients with CHD, the number of DNVs per patient was higher with maternal diabetes (76.5 versus 72.1, t test P=3.03×10-11), but the difference was no longer significant after including parental ages in a linear model (paternal and maternal correction P=0.42). No interaction was observed between diabetes risk and parental age (paternal and maternal interaction P=0.80 and 0.68, respectively). No difference was seen in DNV count per patient based on maternal obesity (72.0 versus 72.2 for maternal body mass index <25 versus maternal body mass index >30, t test P=0.86). Conclusions: After accounting for parental age, the offspring of diabetic or obese mothers have no increase in DNVs compared with other children with CHD. These results emphasize the role for other mechanisms in the cause of CHD associated with these prenatal exposures. Registration: URL:; NCT01196182.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E003500
JournalCirculation. Genomic and precision medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Body mass index
  • congenital
  • genome
  • heart defects
  • obesity
  • prevalence


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