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Birth Defects

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South Carolina Birth Defects Surveilliance

Approximately 1800 infants are born with a birth defect in SC each year (3% or 1 out of every 33 births). The SC Birth Defects Program gathers information on all babies born with birth defects in SC.

The cause of most birth defects is unknown.  The developing baby is dependent on his/her mother’s body and her environment.  Therefore, eating healthy foods and observing healthy behaviors play an important role in preventing birth defects.

Birth defects occur while the baby is developing in the womb. Some birth defects may be physical (such as a cleft lip or heart defect), while others may cause the body to not function properly (such as a metabolic condition or mental retardation). A child born with one birth defect can also have others. In fact, nearly 12% of all children with a birth defect have more than one defect.

Gathering information about birth defects in SC may better our understanding of the causes, as well as positively influence treatment and prevention of birth defects in South Carolina’s children.

Support Information - Click on the links below to learn more about each support program.
BABYNET
BabyNet is South Carolina's interagency early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental delays, or who have conditions associated with developmental delays.
CARE LINE
DHEC's Care Line is a statewide, toll-free help line that provides assistance and support to women for their children and families. The Care Line has a Directory of Services that lists 1-800 numbers and local referral services by county throughout South Carolina.
CHILDREN with SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS (CSHCN)
The Division of Children with Special Health Care Needs serves children and young adults up to age 21 who have (or are at risk for) selected physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions that require special health related services.
FIRST SOUND
First Sound is South Carolina’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program, where the staff receives screening results from each screening hospital and tracks each infant that has been referred from ensuring follow up appointments are made with an audiologist through referring to BabyNet, the early intervention program if diagnosed with a confirmed hearing loss.

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About Birth Defects

Birth Defects Resources and Materials


Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk of having a child with birth defects?

Many birth defects happen very early in pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Not all birth defects are preventable; however a woman can increase her chance of having a healthy baby by adopting positive behaviors for a healthy pregnancy.

Plan your pregnancy

  • Get prenatal care. See your doctor before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Early and regular prenatal care is important for both the mother and the developing baby.
  • Have any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure under control before getting pregnant.
  • Take a multi-vitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during pregnancy and even if you are not planning on having a baby! Taking folic acid before pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.

Take care of yourself

  • During pregnancy it is important to stay healthy and give your baby a healthy start.
  • Eat a healthy-balanced diet. Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding have special nutritional needs.
  • Get a moderate amount of exercise and plenty of rest.
  • Determine your workplace exposures and hazards that may harm your unborn baby.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs.
  • Consult with your doctor before taking over-the-counter drugs.
Folic Acid Facts


Datos sobre el acido folico

Additional Programs:

Folic Acid Awareness Week

National Folic Acid Awareness Week is observed in January every year. While the National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA) sees every week as folic acid awareness week, these seven days represent a special time to shine the spotlight on what folic acid is and why it is important to women of childbearing age.

National Council on Folic Acid
ChooseMyPlate.gov

Let's eat for the Health of it.

ChooseMyPlate.gov offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan/ assess your food choices.


Related Resources

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Birth Defects Maps

Directions: In order to view maps, you must click on the year of interest. Once the map is open for viewing, you can close the map by clicking on the 'X' in the top right-hand corner.

Density maps help us to understand where birth defects are occurring in South Carolina. Darker shades of blue indicate higher frequencies or rates (depending on the map) of the mapped birth defect.

Density maps of birth defect frequencies let us know where the highest number of birth defects are occurring in South Carolina. These maps may be useful for things like planning an educational program with limited funding where it is important to reach as many families impacted by a certain birth defect as possible.

Density maps of birth defect rates display the number of birth defects in an area divided by the number of live births in that area. This lets us know what areas are having more birth defects per 10,000 live births than other areas. These maps may be useful if a program is looking for areas that have more than the expected number of birth defects.

Density Maps of Birth Defects Frequencies

Density Map of Critical Congenital Heart Defects Frequencies, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Down Syndrome Births Frequencies, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Neural Tube Birth Defects Frequencies, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Orofacial Birth Defects Frequencies, 2008 - 2010

Density Maps of Birth Defects Rates

Density Map of Critical Congenital Heart Defects Rates, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Down Syndrome Births Rates, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Neural Tube Birth Defects Rates, 2008 - 2010

Density Map of Orofacial Birth Defects Rates, 2008 - 2010


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Birth Defects Data

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Directions: In order to view data tables, you must click on the year of interest. Once the table is open for viewing, you can close the table by clicking on the year again.

Frequency of Birth Defects by Mother's Age Group 2008

Frequency of Birth Defects by Mother's Age Group, Year 2008
Defect Type*
<20
20-24
25-29
30-34
35-39
≥40
Unknown
Anencephaly 2 3 8 5 0 0 1
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 4 7 3 1 3 0 0
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 4 3 5 3 2 0 0
Tetralogy of Fallot 2 12 9 6 1 2 0
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 4 11 11 3 2 1 0
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 8 15 12 8 5 0 1
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 1 10 18 5 2 1 0
Hypospadias 30 50 47 41 21 3 0
Gastroschisis 11 15 9 5 1 1 0
Upper limb deficiencies 1 4 3 3 1 0 0
Lower limb deficiencies 1 3 5 4 0 0 0
*Note: Descriptions of each birth defect type are provided above

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


Rate of Birth Defects by Mother's Age Group 2008

Rates* of Birth Defects by Mother's Age Group (with 95% Confidence Intervals^), Year 2008
Defect Type
<20
20-24
25-29
30-34
35-39
≥40
Unknown
Anencephaly 2.4
(0.3-8.6)
1.6
(0.3-4.8)
4.5
(2-8.9)
4.2
(1.4-9.8)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 4.8
(1.3-12.2)
3.8
(1.5-7.9)
1.7
(0.4-5)
0.8
(0-4.7)
5.3
(1.1-15.6)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 4.8
(1.3-12.2)
1.6
(0.3-4.8)
2.8
(0.9-6.6)
2.5
(0.5-7.3)
3.6
(0.4-12.9)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Tetralogy of Fallot 2.4
(0.3-8.6)
6.5
(3.4-11.4)
5.1
(2.3-9.7)
5
(1.8-10.9)
1.8
(0-9.9)
17.9
(2.2-64.6)
0
(0-0)
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 4.8
(1.3-12.2)
6
(3-10.7)
6.2
(3.1-11.1)
2.5
(0.5-7.3)
3.6
(0.4-12.9)
8.9
(0.2-49.8)
0
(0-0)
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 9.5
(4.1-18.7)
8.2
(4.6-13.5)
6.8
(3.5-11.9)
6.7
(2.9-13.2)
8.9
(2.9-20.8)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 1.2
(0-6.6)
5.5
(2.6-10)
10.2
(6-16.1)
4.2
(1.4-9.8)
3.6
(0.4-12.9)
8.9
(0.2-49.8)
0
(0-0)
Hypospadias 35.6
(24-50.9)
27.3
(19.7-34.8)
26.6
(19-34.2)
34.4
(23.8-44.9)
37.4
(23.1-57.1)
26.8
(5.5-78.4)
0
(0-0)
Gastroschisis 13.1
(6.5-23.4)
8.2
(4.6-13.5)
5.1
(2.3-9.7)
4.2
(1.4-9.8)
1.8
(0-9.9)
8.9
(0.2-49.8)
0
(0-0)
Upper limb deficiencies 1.2
(0-6.6)
2.2
(0.6-5.6)
1.7
(0.4-5)
2.5
(0.5-7.3)
1.8
(0-9.9)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Lower limb deficiencies 1.2
(0-6.6)
1.6
(0.3-4.8)
2.8
(0.9-6.6)
3.4
(0.9-8.6)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
*Rates are per 10,000 live births
^ 95% Confidence Intervals give you a range of values for which the rate can be. Note that large ranges mean the rate is unstable and should be used with caution.

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


Frequency of Birth Defects by Mother's Race & Ethnicity 2008

Frequency of Birth Defects by Mother's Race & Ethnicity, Year 2008
Defect Type
White
Black
Hispanic
Other
Anencephaly 6 9 4 0
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 11 5 2 0
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 10 4 2 1
Tetralogy of Fallot 13 15 4 0
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 21 7 3 1
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 29 11 4 5
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 16 16 4 1
Hypospadias 110 72 4 6
Gastroschisis 23 10 8 1
Upper limb deficiencies 6 2 4 0
Lower limb deficiencies 8 4 1 0

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


Rate of Birth Defects by Mother's Race & Ethnicity 2008

Rates* of Birth Defects by Mother's Race & Ethnicity (with 95% Confidence Intervals^), Year 2008
Defect Type
White
Black
Hispanic
Other
Anencephaly 1.7
(0.6-3.8)
4.3
(2-8.2)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
0
(0-0)
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 3.2
(1.6-5.7)
2.4
(0.8-5.6)
3.2
(0.4-11.6)
0
(0-0)
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 2.9
(1.4-5.3)
1.9
(0.5-4.9)
3.2
(0.4-11.6)
7.2
(0.2-40.2)
Tetralogy of Fallot 3.7
(2-6.4)
7.2
(4-11.9)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
0
(0-0)
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 6
(3.7-9.2)
3.4
(1.4-7)
4.8
(1-14.1)
7.2
(0.2-40.2)
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 8.4
(5.6-12)
5.3
(2.6-9.5)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
36.1
(11.7-84.2)
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 4.6
(2.6-7.5)
7.7
(4.4-12.5)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
7.2
(0.2-40.2)
Hypospadias 31.7
(25.8-37.6)
34.7
(26.7-42.7)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
43.3
(15.9-94.2)
Gastroschisis 6.6
(4.2-9.9)
4.8
(2.3-8.9)
12.8
(5.5-25.3)
7.2
(0.2-40.2)
Upper limb deficiencies 1.7
(0.6-3.8)
1
(0.1-3.5)
6.4
(1.7-16.4)
0
(0-0)
Lower limb deficiencies 2.3
(1-4.5)
1.9
(0.5-4.9)
1.6
(0-8.9)
0
(0-0)
*Rates are per 10,000 live births
^ 95% Confidence Intervals give you a range of values for which the rate can be. Note that large ranges mean the rate is unstable and should be used with caution.

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


Frequency of Birth Defects by Infant Sex 2008

Frequency of Birth Defects by Infant Sex, Year 2008
Defect Type
Male
Female
Unknown
Anencephaly 9 8 2
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 10 8 0
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 13 4 0
Tetralogy of Fallot 16 16 0
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 22 10 0
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 30 18 1
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 14 23 0
Hypospadias 192 0 0
Gastroschisis 23 15 4
Upper limb deficiencies 5 7 0
Lower limb deficiencies 8 5 0

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


Rate of Birth Defects by Infant Sex 2008

Rates* of Birth Defects by Infant Sex (with 95% Confidence Intervals^), Year 2008
Defect Type
Male
Female
Unknown
Anencephaly 2.8
(1.3-5.3)
2.6
(1.1-5.1)
0
(0-0)
Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly) 3.1
(1.5-5.7)
2.6
(1.1-5.1)
0
(0-0)
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 4
(2.2-6.9)
1.3
(0.4-3.3)
0
(0-0)
Tetralogy of Fallot 5
(2.8-8.1)
5.2
(3-8.4)
0
(0-0)
Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) 6.8
(4.3-10.4)
3.2
(1.5-5.9)
0
(0-0)
Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate 9.3
(6.3-13.3)
5.8
(3.4-9.2)
0
(0-0)
Cleft palate w/o cleft lip 4.4
(2.4-7.3)
7.4
(4.7-11.2)
0
(0-0)
Hypospadias 59.7
(51.3-68.2)
0
(0-0)
0
(0-0)
Gastroschisis 7.2
(4.5-10.7)
4.8
(2.7-8)
0
(0-0)
Upper limb deficiencies 1.6
(0.5-3.6)
2.3
(0.9-4.7)
0
(0-0)
Lower limb deficiencies 2.5
(1.1-4.9)
1.6
(0.5-3.8)
0
(0-0)
*Rates are per 10,000 live births
^ 95% Confidence Intervals give you a range of values for which the rate can be. Note that large ranges mean the rate is unstable and should be used with caution.

Source: South Carolina Birth Defects Program, MCH, DHEC


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Definitions


Anencephaly (CDC) - A major birth defect occurring during the first month of pregnancy.  It is a type of neural tube defect in which the baby is born with a portion of the brain/skull missing.

Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate (CDC) - A birth defect of the baby’s lip or mouth occurring during early pregnancy.

Gastroschisis (CDC) - A birth defect of the abdominal wall occurring during the early stages of pregnancy.   

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (CDC) - A birth defect which affects normal blood flow through the heart due to the improper development of the heart’s left side.

Upper/Lower Limb Deficiencies (CDC) - Referred to as a “limb reduction”, this birth defect occurs when a part of or the entire arm or leg of the baby fails to form completely during pregnancy.

Spina Bifida (w/o anencephaly) (CDC) - A type of neural tube defect, spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is typically apparent at birth.

Tetralogy of Fallot (CDC) - A birth defect that affects the normal flow of blood through the heart due to the failure of the baby’s heart to form correctly during pregnancy.

Transposition of the Great Arteries (vessels) (CDC) - A heart condition that is present at birth where the two main arteries of the heart are switched in position.

Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) (CDC) - Down syndrome is a condition in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome.

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track it map it use it create it   About Birth Defects
For additional information, contact the SC EPHT program: epht@dhec.sc.gov
These web pages are supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000628-02 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.