Background: The spectrum and incidence of congenital heart diseases
amongst African population are not well defined in literature. There is the
need to further elucidate the spectrum and epidemiology of congenital heart diseases
amongst African. Aim: This study was conducted to highlight the spectrum and
occurrence of congenital heart diseases in an African population. Methodology: All paediatric patients who were
autopsied over a 98-month period were checked for occurrence of congenital
heart diseases. Attempts were made to
ascertain the primary disease and causes of death. We noted their
bio-data, ages, sexes and causes of death. The results were analysed with SPSS
version 17. The results formed the basis for discussion and recommendations. Results:
There were 135 cardiac related deaths and 36 of them were in paediatric age
brackets. The mean age was 4.7 + 1.08 months with
a standard deviation of 6.27. M:F ratio was 1:1.1. The commonest anomaly
was ventricular septal defect. There was a weak association with other congenital anomalies. The commonest cause of
death was bronchopneumonia. Discussion and Recommendation: The disease pattern showed reasonable similarity
with reports from other parts of the world. However, there is need for
development of capacity for prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart diseases
in Africa. This will widen the net of diagnosis and improve accuracy of incidence
studies in Africa.
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