It's not known why atrial septal defects occur, but congenital heart defects appear to run in families and sometimes occur with other genetic problems, such as Down syndrome. If you have a heart defect, or you have a child with a heart defect, a genetic counselor can estimate the odds that any future children will have one.
When the following conditions occur during pregnancy, they can increase your risk of having a baby with a heart defect:
Dec. 14, 2011
- Rubella infection. Becoming infected with rubella (German measles) while pregnant can increase the risk of fetal heart defects.
- Drug or alcohol use or exposure to certain substances. Use of certain medications, alcohol or drugs, such as cocaine, during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus.
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- Facts about atrial septal defect. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/AtrialSeptalDefect.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Cohen S, et al. Atrial septal defect. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Bernstein D. Acyanotic congenital heart disease: The left-to-right shunt lesions. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Vick GW, et al. Management and outcome of isolated atrial septal defects in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Atrial septal defect. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/atrial_septal_defect_asd.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Wiegers SE, et al. Management of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Wiegers SE, et al. Pathophysiology and clinical features of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Birth defects. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/birthdefects_congenitalheart.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Questions and answers on the 2010 dietary guidelines advisory committee report. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/DGAC/Report/QandA-DGACReport.pdf. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2011.