Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Richard Rothenberg, MD, MPH

Second Advisor

Suzanne Gilboa, PhD


There is relatively little epidemiologic information about Ebstein anomaly (EA) ─ a rare congenital heart defect. Thus, we analyzed characteristics of EA in a geographically and ethnically diverse population.

Data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study were used to study infants born from 1997-2007 with EA. Birth prevalence and prevalence ratio (PR) estimates were derived from the number of affected infants per 10,000 live births in the catchment area. Case characteristics were examined, stratified by the presence of other cardiac and extracardiac defects. Predictive modeling using logistic regression was conducted to understand infant mortality risk factors.

There were 249 cases with EA, for a birth prevalence of 0.55/10,000 live births. Other cardiac defects were present in 41.0% and extracardiac defects in 10% of cases. Prevalence was higher among multiple births compared to singletons (PR 2.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46-3.92) and preterm compared to term infants (PR 1.84, 95% CI 1.27-2.64). Compared to EA cases without other defects, those with additional defects were more likely to die (crude Odds Ratio (cOR) 4.07, 95% CI 1.71-9.93) or undergo cardiac surgery (cOR 6.06, 95% CI 2.78-13.49). Risk for death during infancy was increased by being small for gestational age (adjusted (a) OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.13-7.76) and having extracardiac defects (aOR 6.31, 95% CI 2.28-17.52).

Some findings are consistent with previous work, but further studies of EA could clarify risk factors for occurrence and mortality. Knowing population characteristics could guide development of prevention strategies and may improve clinical care.