Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
While the exact cause of congenital heart defects, such as truncus arteriosus, is unknown, several factors may increase the risk of a baby being born with a heart condition. These include:
Oct. 01, 2015
- Viral illness during pregnancy. If a woman contracts rubella (German measles) or another viral illness during early pregnancy, the risk of congenital heart defects in her baby is increased.
- Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy. Diabetes that isn't well-managed can increase the risk of birth defects, including heart defects.
- Certain medications taken during pregnancy. Many medications aren't recommended for use during pregnancy because of potential risks to the fetus.
- Certain chromosomal disorders. Children with DiGeorge's syndrome or velocardiofacial syndrome have an increased risk of truncus arteriosus. These conditions are caused by an extra or defective chromosome.
- Smoking during pregnancy. Continuing to smoke while pregnant increases the risk that the baby will be born with a heart defect.
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- Facts about truncus arteriosus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/truncusarteriosus.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2015.
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- Congenital heart defects and CCHD. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/congenital-heart-defects.aspx. Accessed Sept. 8, 2015.
- Truncus arteriosus. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Truncus-Arteriosus_UCM_307040_Article.jsp. Accessed Sept. 7, 2015.
- Guidance for preventing birth defects. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/prevention.html. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.