Birth Defects

Birth defects are the leading cause of infant death in the United States, accounting for about 1 in 5 infant deaths. In this study, researchers looked at the number of infant deaths related to birth defects per 1,000 live births for infants whose deliveries were paid by Medicaid or private health insurance. CDC researchers estimated that approximately 12 infant deaths related to birth defects occurred for every 10,000 babies born in the United States from 2011-2013.

Death rates related to birth defects were higher for babies whose deliveries were paid by Medicaid compared to private insurance. Further study is needed to identify the underlying reasons for these differences. Strategies to ensure that all pregnant women and their infants have access to high quality health care might reduce the difference in infant mortality between deliveries paid by Medicaid and those paid by private insurance. We invite you to read the full article.

 ·        The three most common categories of birth defects listed as a cause of death: central nervous system (CNS) defects, congenital heart defects (CHD) and chromosomal abnormalities.

·        Approximately 15% of all infant deaths and 70% of infant mortality attributable to birth defects (IMBD) occurred in the neonatal period. CNS defects, CHD, and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 57% of neonatal and 76% of postneonatal IMBD.

·        Among preterm births, postneonatal mortality for deliveries covered by Medicaid was 40% higher for CHD and 81% higher for chromosomal abnormalities, compared with those covered by private insurance.

 You can find the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article on this subject matter by clicking on:

What You Can Do

Spread the word about this study! We encourage you to share these links with your colleagues and friends.  Feel free to post them on your own home page as well.  Please share on your social media channels or share/retweet/favorite from @CDC_NCBDDD.

For More Information:

Birth Defects:

This research was done in collaboration with The March of Dimes. We thank them for their continued support and partnership.

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