Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In animal models, iron deficient mothers had a greatly increased risk of having offspring with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Red heart shape hand exercise ball with stethoscope

A team of University of Oxford researchers, funded by the British Heart Foundation, have identified an entirely new risk factor for congenital heart disease (CHD). Using an animal model system, researchers have shown that if the mother is severely iron deficient and anaemic during early pregnancy, this greatly increases the risk that her offspring will have heart defects.

CHD is the most common human birth defect, affecting 12 babies born each day in the UK. Babies with CHD are born with one or more structural defects caused when the heart does not develop properly in the womb. It is a major cause of infant mortality and requires ongoing medical treatment throughout life. Yet, despite the prevalence of the condition, we do not always know why it happens.

Read the Nature Communications paper

Read the full article on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website

The story is also featured on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

Cancer Research UK to invest £11 million into cancer science in Oxford

A £11 million Cancer Research UK investment has been awarded to the University of Oxford and Oxford-based NHS to catalyse the translation of its world-leading cancer research for patient benefit.

Review highlights risk factors associated with violence in schizophrenia

Researchers at Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry have found that people with schizophrenia and related disorders are at higher-than-average risk of perpetrating violence, but that the overall risk remains low (less than 1 in 20 in women, and less than 1 in 4 for men over a 35-year period for violent arrests and crimes).

An estimated 1.2 million people died in 2019 from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections

First comprehensive analysis of global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) estimates resistance itself caused 1.27 million deaths in 2019 - more deaths than HIV/AIDS or malaria - and that antimicrobial-resistant infections played a role in 4.95 million deaths.

Attention and memory deficits persist for months after recovery from mild Covid

Researchers from Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences have shown that people who have had Covid but don’t complain of long Covid symptoms in daily life nevertheless can show degraded attention and memory for up to 6-9 months.

Plaster cast or metal pins to treat a broken wrist? The results are in.

An Oxford study published in The BMJ has found the use of metal K-wires (commonly known as ‘pins’) to hold broken wrist bones in place while they heal are no better than a traditional moulded plaster cast.

New book expands the horizons of brain research

A pioneering book from Professor Zoltán Molnár and Yale Professors Tamas Horvath and Joy Hirsch to be released on 1 February 2022 addresses the fundamental relationship between the body, brain and behaviour.