Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

National statistics for 18 major birth defects released

06.01.2006


Down Syndrome and cleft lip and/or palate most prevalent defects studied



Cleft lip is a treatable birth defect, but for the families of the estimated 6,800 U.S. infants born with one, it’s a heartbreaking experience – not only because of the associated health problems, but because friends and family may ignore the condition or because of social stigma associated with facial defects.

Among the 18 major birth defects included in this study, cleft lip and/or palate had the highest prevalence, followed by Down Syndrome, according to research that for the first time provides population-based estimates for the prevalence of specific birth defects nationwide.


Among the selected cardiovascular defects studied, more than 6,500 infants were affected, however, this excludes many common types such as ventral septal defects.

The study results, published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), calculated national estimates for 18 specific major birth defects between 1999 and 2001. Previous estimates had indicated that 3 percent of all births are affected by a birth defect. However, this is the first time national population-based estimates for specific defects, other than neural tube defects, have been calculated.

"This study is an important step toward helping us understand the widespread impact that birth defects have on families across the United States," said study co-author Joann Petrini, Ph.D., director of the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center.

Parents of children with these conditions know how important this research is to their families and to addressing their health care and educational needs.

"No one was excited for us when Ethan was born," said Lori Gunther of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., whose son was born in 2002 with a cleft lip. Well-meaning friends avoided discussion of or dismissed the defect thinking it was "cosmetic" and could be easily fixed. But Ethan had eating problems because the cleft made it difficult for him to suck. He had three surgeries by the age of 1. After one surgery, he stopped breathing for a short time after his parents brought him home due to a blood clot.

"I don’t think a lot of people realize this is a problem," said Lori Gunther. "It was horrible. The thought of possibly having to go through it again with another child was horrible." But last year, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl she and her husband named Katherine.

Because of his cleft palate and lip, Dakota Hitchcock "sounded like a little puppy" when he was born in 2002, said his grandmother, Lin Hitchcock of Oklahoma. "Your heart just broke and I just started praying," she said. Before he was 18 months old, Dakota had three surgeries. The second one allowed him to suck properly on a bottle. "I can still hear that sound," says Lin Hitchcock. "I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, but I wouldn’t give back the experience. It just makes us appreciate the little things in life."

The 18 major birth defects studied included certain cardiovascular system defects, as well as limb defects, defects of the intestine and bowel, the eye, and chromosomal defects, such as Down syndrome. These were selected for study because they are relatively common, can be identified after birth, and have severe consequences. Ten of the 18 defects affect more than 1,000 infants annually, according to the research titled, "Improved National Prevalence Estimates for 18 Selected Birth Defects – United States, 1991-2001," and published in MMWR, Vol. 54, Nos. 51 and 52.

"This report demonstrates the importance of state birth defects surveillance programs and also the need for more research to identify the causes of many birth defects,’’ said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

Understanding the prevalence of birth defects, which are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, is key to planning for national health care needs and for designing and targeting programs and research for prevention and treatment, the March of Dimes says.

Todd P. Dezen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.marchofdimes.com
http://www.marchofdimes.com/peristats.

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>