Pediatric Pearls

Heart Defects Among Boys With Hypospadias

  • The authors of a study found that boys born with hypospadias were 6 times more likely to have a co-occurring congenital heart defect. Boys with third-degree hypospadias were more likely to have heart disease than boys with first-degree hypospadias.

    The Research

    Based upon preliminary reports connecting hypospadias and congenital heart defects, the authors of this retrospective cohort study used birth-registry data from infants in 11 states born between 1995 and 2014 to examine the correlation between the 2 conditions. They queried data from active state-based surveillance programs in Texas and Arkansas and confirmed their findings through active and passive surveillance programs in 9 additional states through the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. 

    The Bottom Line

    More studies are needed to confirm the impressive degree of association reported here and to investigate potential underlying genetic causes. It will be interesting to see if this publication leads to official recommendations to screen all boys born with hypospadias with an echocardiogram to look for undiagnosed congenital heart defects.


    1. Richard MA, Patel J, Benjamin RH, et al. Prevalence and clustering of congenital heart defects among boys with hypospadias. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(7):e2224152. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.24152

    Scott T. Vergano, MD, is a pediatrician in the Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Norfolk Virginia.