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Who Is at Risk for Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a fairly common congenital heart defect in the United States. Although the condition can affect full-term infants, it's more common in premature infants.

On average, PDA occurs in about 8 out of every 1,000 premature babies, compared with 2 out of every 1,000 full-term babies.

PDA also is more common in:

  • Infants who have genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome
  • Infants whose mothers had German measles (rubella) during pregnancy

PDA is twice as common in girls as it is in boys.

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September 26, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.