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 Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>