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Dataset Details

The Dataset Details page includes both Data Details and Data Facts. Each of these documents is specific to the corresponding dataset. In order to fully understand, interpret, and compare data, it is vital to have complete knowledge of the data elements included in each dataset.

The Data Details section helps the user understand how the data are collected and interpreted. The Data Details also explains the limitations the data may have and how they are calculated. The Data Facts section, also known as Metadata, describes the process and steps involved in creating each dataset, including elements such as title, abstract, author, data source, and keywords.

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Birth Defects

  • Birth Defects Data Details

    Data Details

    Interpreting the Data:

    What these data tell us:

    • These data can be used to determine number and rate of specific birth defects diagnosed in South Carolina children with an inpatient hospital stay through the child’s second birthday.
    • These data can be viewed by year and demographic characteristics (such as mother’s age, race/ethnicity, and infant’s gender) or geographic region of South Carolina.

    What these data do not tell us:

    • These data may not include birth defects among South Carolina residents if the child has never had an inpatient hospital stay in South Carolina.
    • These data may not include birth defects that are diagnosed after a child’s second birthday.
    • These data cannot be added together to get the total number of children with birth defects since one child may have more than one diagnosed defect.

    Limitations of the data

    These data only give us information about mother and child characteristics during pregnancy and around the time of the diagnosis of the birth defect(s). Follow-up data collection is not done for children diagnosed with birth defects. Therefore, these data cannot be used to determine the long-term impact of birth defects in South Carolina.

    Data collection is continual and is not complete until two years after the data year. For example, 2008 birth defects data was still being collected until the end of 2010. Therefore, any data that is less than “two years old” is still subject to change and should only be reported as provisional data. Most birth defects are diagnosed within the first year of a baby’s life. So in the interest of providing timely information, data that is subject to change may be added if South Carolina Birth Defects Program staff feel that it is nearly complete. All such data will be clearly marked as PROVISIONAL (SUBJECT TO CHANGE).

    Many birth defects are rare. In fact, some birth defects are so rare that fewer than 5 cases occur within certain subgroups in a year. The South Carolina Birth Defects Program and the South Carolina Environmental Public Health Tracking program want to be certain that there is not a way for an individual or family affected by a birth defect to be identified by the numbers reported on this site. Therefore, if fewer than 5 birth defects occurred in a year within a subgroup, the actual number of birth defects will not be displayed on this website. Instead, the table or map will show that <5 (fewer than five) birth defects were diagnosed in this subgroup for infants born in that year and a rate will not be reported.

    About these measurements

    Measures included

    South Carolina birth defects data are presented in two ways:

    1. the number (frequency) of birth defects observed among infants born in a year
    2. the rate of birth defects among all live births in a year.

    Frequency of measurement

    Data collection for birth defects diagnosed in South Carolina is ongoing continuously until the child’s second birthday. Therefore, South Carolina Birth Defects data cannot be finalized until two years have passed from the end of the data year. For example, 2008 birth defects data was still being collected until the end of 2010.

    Interpretation of rates

    A birth defect rate should be interpreted as the number of birth defects diagnosed for every 10,000 live births delivered in South Carolina. For example, a rate of 2.4 for spina bifida in 2008 can be interpreted as: “Out of every 10,000 live births in South Carolina in 2008, 2.4 babies were diagnosed with spina bifida.”

    Calculation Methods

    Frequencies of birth defects are the number of each type of birth defect that was diagnosed in a South Carolina hospital for infants that were born, had a stillbirth, or had an induced termination of pregnancy (abortion) in that year. The diagnosis could have been made during pregnancy (for example, through an ultrasound or a genetic test) or after birth.

    Rates of birth defects are calculated as follows:

    Birth Defects Rate Calculation Formula

  • Birth Defects Data Facts

    Data Facts (also known as Metadata)

    Description: South Carolina Birth Defects 2008

    Publish Date: 04/30/2010


    Health Data, SC Aggregated Counts of Birth Defects data by Mother's Age, Ethnicity, Race, and Infant Sex: This data set contains aggregated counts of the number of birth defects by Birth Defect Type, Mother's Age, Ethnicity and Race, and Infant Sex by County in the state of South Carolina. The specific birth defects for which aggregated counts are provided include: Anencephaly, Spina bifida (w/o anencephaly), Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of the great arteries (vessels), Cleft lip with or w/o cleft palate, Cleft palate w/o cleft lip, Gastroschisis, Upper limb deficiencies, Lower limb deficiencies, and Trisomy 21. It also contains the count of live births by Mother's Age, Ethnicity and Race, and Infant Sex by County in the state of South Carolina for the aggregated data rate calculations .


    To provide the public, EPHT grantees, researchers, and other public health professionals with information pertaining to Birth Defects data in the state of South Carolina.

    Supplemental Information:

    The South Carolina Birth Defects Program (SC BDP) is an active surveillance program. The program was established in late 2006 at SC DHEC. The earliest full year of data available from the SC BDP is 2008. The SC BDP collects data on babies up to two years of age for in-state births to South Carolina residents. The program relies on active case ascertainment to gather data. Case ascertainment is determined by certain conditions: For newborns, any chart with ICD9-CM code 740-759, any chart with a selected list of ICD9-CM codes outside 740-759, any chart with selected defects or medical conditions (e.g. abnormal facies, congenital heart disease), all prenatal diagnosed or suspected cases. Beyond newborn period, any infant with a codable defect. Note: All coding is ICD-9-CM, and only confirmed cases are provided in the data counts. Coding notes: Gastroschisis counts include Omphalocele - SC Birth Defects Program does not have a method for differentiating between these two birth defects for 2008 data. If Mother's Ethnicity was Hispanic and race was not specified, then mother's race was assigned as White. "Other" race designation includes: Asian Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Other.


    Any user of this data must have reviewed and understand the metadata content before attempting to understand, interpret or use the Birth Defects data. This is a public dataset and is not for commercial purposes. Any use of this data should contain proper data source acknowledgement: MCH, Health Services, SC DHEC and Division of Biostatistics, PHSIS, SC DHEC

    Contact Information:

    SC EPHT, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC)
    2600 Bull Street
    Columbia, South Carolina  29201
    Phone: 1 803 898 2471
    Fax: 1 803 898 3661
    Hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (EST)

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For additional information, contact the SC EPHT program:
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.