The Impact of Maternal Age on the Neonatal Electrocardiogram

Maria Munk Pærregaard*, Joachim Hartmann, Ottilia Vøgg, Adrian Pietersen, Heather A Boyd, Anna Axelsson Raja, Kasper Karmark Iversen, Henning Bundgaard, Alex Hørby Christensen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested an increased prevalence of congenital heart disease among children born to women aged ≥35 years. In recent decades, the mother's age at childbirth has increased dramatically in industrialized countries. It has not been investigated if increasing maternal age affects the neonatal cardiac electrical system.

METHODS: The Copenhagen Baby Heart Study is a prospective general population study that performed cardiac evaluation in newborns. Electrocardiograms were analyzed with a computerized algorithm.

RESULTS: We included 16,518 newborns with normal echocardiograms (median age 11 days; range 0-30 days; 52% boys). Median maternal age at delivery was 31 years; 790 newborns were born to mothers aged between 16 and 24 years, 11,403 between 25 and 34 years, 4,279 between 35 and 44 years, and 46 newborns had mothers aged between 45 and 54 years. The QRS axis and maximum R-wave amplitude in V1 (R-V1) differed across the four maternal age groups (both p < 0.01), with absolute differences of 3.5% (114 vs. 110°) and 12% (1,152 vs. 1,015 µV), respectively, between newborns with the youngest and oldest mothers. Associations between maternal age and the QRS axis and R-V1 remained significant after multifactorial adjustment. Heart rate, PR interval, QRS duration, uncorrected QT interval, QTcBazett, and maximum amplitudes of S-V1, R-V6, and S-V6 were not associated with maternal age (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: We observed a significant association between maternal age and the neonatal QRS axis and R-V1. However, the absolute differences were relatively small and maternal age is unlikely to have a clinically significant effect on the neonatal cardiac electrical system.

Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)629-637
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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