Limited risks of major congenital anomalies in children of mothers with coeliac disease: a population-based cohort study

L Ban, J West, A Abdul Sultan, N N Dhalwani, J F Ludvigsson, L J Tata
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2015, 122 (13): 1833-41

OBJECTIVE: To examine major congenital anomaly (CA) risks in children of mothers with coeliac disease (CD) compared with mothers without CD.

DESIGN: Population-based cohort study.

SETTING: Linked maternal-child medical records from a large primary care database from the UK.

POPULATION: A total of 562,332 live singletons of mothers with and without CD in 1990-2013.

METHODS: We calculated the absolute major CA risks in children whose mothers had CD, and whether this was diagnosed or undiagnosed before childbirth. Logistic regression with a generalised estimating equation was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for CAs associated with CD.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fourteen system-specific major CA groups classified according to the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies and neural tube defects (NTDs).

RESULTS: Major CA risk in 1880 children of mothers with CD was 293 per 10,000 liveborn singletons, similar to the risk in those without CD (282; aOR 0.98, 95% CI 0.74-1.30). The risk was slightly higher in 971 children, whose mothers were undiagnosed (350; aOR 1.14, 95% CI 0.79-1.64), than in 909 children whose mothers were diagnosed (231; aOR 0.80, 95% CI 0.52-1.24). There was a three-fold increase in nervous system anomalies in the children of mothers with undiagnosed CD (aOR 2.98, 95% CI 1.06-8.33, based on five exposed cases and one had an NTD), and these women were all diagnosed with CD at least 4 years after their children were born.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no statistically significant increase in risk of major CAs in children of mothers with coeliac disease overall, compared with the general population.

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