Addressing mortality in mothers of infants with congenital anomalies
This article, “Associations between the birth of an infant with major congenital anomalies and subsequent risk of mortality in their mothers” (1), adds to the growing literature revealing the adverse health condition of caretakers of children with severe chronic disease (2,3). Using population-based registries in Denmark, the authors have extended the literature to now include mothers of children with major congenital anomalies and have used as the definitive metric of health, the subsequent death of the mother and her cause of death. Their findings demonstrate an increased risk of death of the mother both within the first 10 years and over the first 35 years after the child’s birth, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The authors suggest that the adverse impact on the child’s mother over the long-term may be a response related to the stress of caring for a child with a birth defect/birth defects.