For Most Birth Defects Survival Poorer Among Minorities Interview with:
Ying Wang, PhD, MPH

Data Management, Analysis & Research
Office of Primary Care and Health System Management
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza  Albany, NY  12237

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Wang: The purpose of the study was to examine the survival of children with one or more of 21 major birth defects in the United States.  We used data from 12 population-based birth defects surveillance programs that participate in the National Birth Defects Prevention Network.  The study included nearly 100,000 infants born with birth defects between 1997 and 2007.

We found that children who were born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (a severe congenital heart defect) had the lowest chance of survival across multiple ages (up to 28 days of life, 1 year, 2 years, and 8 years of life), compared to children with any other birth defects studied.  We also found that the chances of survival up to 1 year of life was greater than 90% for babies born with spina bifida, cleft palate, cleft lip with or without cleft palate, pyloric stenosis, gastroschisis, or Down syndrome. For most birth defects, survival was poorer among non-Hispanic black mothers and Hispanic mothers compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Wang: This study is one of the largest population-based studies of survival among children with birth defects in the United States.  It provides important information for those involved (e.g., clinicians, policymakers, patients) in developing health policies and planning for services.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Wang: Future studies should examine survival among those who needed surgery, those who had another condition requiring a hospital stay or other procedure, and those who had more severe or complex types of specific birth defects.


Racial/Ethnic Differences in Survival of United States Children with Birth Defects: A Population-Based Study

Wang, Ying et al.

The Journal of Pediatrics on behalf of the
National Birth Defects The Journal of Pediatrics

Available online 29 January 2015

[wysija_form id=”1″] Interview with:Ying Wang, PhD, MPH (2015). For Most Birth Defects Survival Poorer Among Minorities