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Focus Area: Saving Babies through Birth Defects Research and Prevention

 Photo of infantBirth defects are common, costly, and critical. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a major birth defect in the United States. That’s about 1 in every 33 babies. Hospital costs for the treatment of birth defects are more than $2.6 billion each year in the United States. Babies born with a birth defect are more likely to die before their first birthday, compared to babies born without a birth defect. Babies who survive and live with birth defects can have lifelong challenges, such as problems with physical movement, learning, and social interaction.

CDC and its partners are changing these figures.  Our unique state-based birth defects tracking and public health research provide a wealth of information that we use to identify causes of birth defects, find opportunities to prevent them, and improve the health of those living with birth defects. Together with states, academic centers, healthcare providers, and other partners, we are working towards a day when all babies are born with the best health possible and every child thrives.  

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