The Association Between Race/Ethnicity and Major Birth Defects in the United States, 1999–2007

AJPH: May 16, 2014

Objectives. We investigated the relationship between race/ethnicity and 27 major birth defects.

Methods. We pooled data from 12 population-based birth defects surveillance systems in the United States that included 13.5 million live births (1 of 3 of US births) from 1999 to 2007. Using Poisson regression, we calculated prevalence estimates for each birth defect and 13 racial/ethnic groupings, along with crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs). Non-Hispanic Whites served as the referent group.

Results. American Indians/Alaska Natives had a significantly higher and 50% or greater prevalence for 7 conditions (aPR = 3.97; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.89, 5.44 for anotia or microtia); aPRs of 1.5 to 2.1 for cleft lip, trisomy 18, and encephalocele, and lower, upper, and any limb deficiency). Cubans and Asians, especially Chinese and Asian Indians, had either significantly lower or similar prevalences of these defects compared with non-Hispanic Whites, with the exception of anotia or microtia among Chinese (aPR = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.30, 3.33) and Filipinos (aPR = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.10, 3.30) and tetralogy of Fallot among Vietnamese (aPR = 1.60; 95% CI = 1.11, 2.32). Read More