Indicator Report - Birth Defects: Overall
Why Is This Important?Major birth defects are associated with significant mortality, illness, and disability throughout the lifespan. Pregnancies affected by birth defects are more likely to end as a stillbirth. Affected newborns and children are at an increased risk of premature death, chronic illness, or long term disability. In the United States and other developed countries, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality, and are a major contributor to pediatric hospitalizations, chronic childhood illness, and developmental disabilities. Birth defects are a crucial public health issue nationwide, but particularly in Utah, because of the state's remarkably high birth rate (the highest in the nation).
Tracking and studying birth defects has several benefits: this information helps measure and monitor over time the burden of disease locally and statewide, and provides the evidence basis to help allocate resources for optimal care and evaluate prevention efforts.
Data NotesHispanic persons may be of any race.
Data SourcesUtah Birth Defect Network.
DefinitionNumber of cases of eligible major birth defects per 1,000 live births and stillbirths. Major birth defects are broadly those that require medical, surgical, or rehabilitative services, and have an impact on the person's health and development. Major birth defects eligible for inclusion in the Utah Birth Defect Network (UBDN) encompass most (not all) serious structural birth defects, including common as well as uncommon anomalies of the heart (e.g., septal defects, conotruncal defects), face (e.g., cleft lip and palate), skull (e.g., craniosynostosis), limbs (e.g., missing digits), brain or spine (e.g., anencephaly and spina bifida), kidneys and genitourinary system (e.g., absent kidney, hydronephrosis, hypospadias), liver and gastrointestinal system (e.g., biliary atresia, esophageal atresia), as well as chromosomal anomalies such as Down syndrome.
This report excludes certain mild conditions such as those heart findings detected in the preterm baby and that often resolve over time (e.g., patent ductus arteriosus); mild conditions not leading to treatment (e.g., coronal hypospadias not needing surgery); or conditions that usually do not lead to major medical concerns except perhaps in later stages of life (mitral prolapse).
How We Calculated the Rates
Page Content Updated On 10/28/2014, Published on 12/01/2014