CDC 24/7 - Protecting People - Florida's Success
What is the problem?
Birth defects are a major cause of death and disease in Florida's children. Birth defects can also contribute substantially to long-term disability. In 2007, more than 9,000 Florida infants were born with major structural or genetic birth defects. The causes of most birth defects are unknown. The possible association between birth defects and environmental contamination is a real concern in Florida.
What did Tracking do?
The Florida Tracking Program, Florida Birth Defects Registry, and the University of South Florida developed a surveillance system to improve identifying cases and confirming diagnoses for the 12 birth defects in the Florida Tracking Network:
- Spina Bifida without anencephaly
- Hypolastic left heart syndrome
- Teratology of Fallot
- Transposition of the great vessels
- Cleft lip with cleft palate
- Cleft lip without cleft palate
- Cleft palate without cleft lip
- Reduction deformities of the upper/lower limbs
- Down Syndrome
Improved public health
The Florida Tracking Program Active Surveillance Project has developed an improved system for monitoring birth defects. This system has helped identify higher rates of serious birth defects of the brain and spine in Puerto Rican women in Florida. These data will assist in developing prevention activities to educate these women about the health benefits of folic acid, a B vitamin that can help prevent such defects. The Florida Birth Defects Registry also uses birth defect data collected through enhanced surveillance to develop county risk profiles for selected conditions.