Q & A Corner - Issue #85

NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers on

Birth Defects

Introduction

Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. Depending on the severity of the defect and what body part is affected, the expected lifespan of a person with a birth defect may or may not be affected. Birth defects are common, costly, and critical conditions that affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That means nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will address common questions regarding birth defects.

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