The Baltimore-Washington Infant Study of Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors of Major Cardiovascular Malformations was a large population-based epidemiological study of congenital heart disease conducted from 1981 through 1989 funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The principal investigator, Charlotte Ferenz, a pediatric cardiologist and epidemiologist, was assisted by 16 well-established research center investigators in 6 pediatric cardiology centers and 53 area hospitals, with the assistance of more than 800 physicians. The study included 4390 cases and 3572 controls that were enrolled between 1981 and 1989 in a geographical area that had had 100,000 births annually. It comprises extensive diagnostic information on cardiac and noncardiac malformations; questionnaires administered by trained interviewers in home visits to case study and control mothers; and discussions of genetic, social, demographic, and medical/obstetric data, parental exposures to potential harmful substances, and medical therapies in home and occupational activities. The study is a comprehensive evaluation of characteristics of familial and infant cardiovascular malformations. Multivariate analyses of genetic and environmental factors generated ideological hypotheses for future studies by multidisciplinary teams.
Gilbert-Barness E. Perspectives in Pediatric Cardiology, Vol 5: Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors of Major Cardiovascular Malformations: The Baltimore-Washington Infant Study 1981-1989. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(11):1156-1157. doi: