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Spina Bifida Prevalence



Photo: A boy with Spina Bifida holding a fish

Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has published a new CDC study: “Prevalence of Spina Bifida Among Children and Adolescents in 10 Regions in the United States.” You can read an abstract of the article here (subscription required to read full article): click to read the abstract.

See below for a summary of the findings from this article.


About this study:

This is the first study to provide population-based estimates of the prevalence of spina bifida among children and adolescents in 10 diverse regions in the United States. These estimates could be useful for determining the need for local and regional resources to address the long-term care needs of individuals born with spina bifida.

This CDC study used population-based, birth defect surveillance data from 10 U.S. regions to estimate the prevalence of spina bifida among children and adolescents in 2002. The term, population-based, means that the surveillance systems look at all children and adolescents with spina bifida who live in the regions. The study also examined variations in prevalence of spina bifida among children, according to age group, race/ethnicity, and gender.


Important findings from this study include:
  • The overall prevalence of spina bifida among children and adolescents 0 to 19 years of age was 3.1 cases per 10,000, which represents about 24,860 children and adolescents living with spina bifida in the United States in 2002.
  • The prevalence of spina bifida among non-Hispanic white children was higher than among non-Hispanic black children.
  • The overall prevalence of spina bifida among children was highest among children aged 4-7 years and was 14% higher among females than among males.


More studies are needed to find out why the prevalence of spina bifida among children and adolescents varied between different groups. Further study is also needed to estimate the prevalence of spina bifida among adults in the United States.

For more information about spina bifida, please visit the CDC’s spina bifida webpage.


Reference

Shin M, Besser LM, Siffel C, Kucik JE, Shaw GM, Lu C, Correa A, and the Congenital Anomaly Multistate Prevalence and Survival Collaborative. Prevalence of Spina Bifida Among Children and Adolescents in 10 Regions in the United States. Pediatrics. 2010 [e-published July 12, 2010].

 
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