Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content


View scientific articles about birth defects.

Highlighted Articles

Key Findings: Women and Healthcare Providers “Play it Safe” with Medicine Use During Pregnancy
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the March of Dimes and RTI International, found that women want to be actively engaged in making decisions about the medicines they take during pregnancy. However, there are not enough informational materials to tell women and their providers what medicines are safe to use during pregnancy.
(Published: October 3, 2017)

Key Findings: Use of Pain Medicine During Early Pregnancy May Be Related To Birth Defects
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that women who took NSAIDs and opioid pain medicines during early pregnancy were more likely to have babies affected with certain birth defects compared with women who took acetaminophen.
(Published: September 26, 2017)

Key Findings: Relationship Between Infant Mortality Related to Birth Defects and Type of Payment for Delivery
(Published: January 26, 2017)

Key Findings: Inpatient Hospital Stays Related to Birth Defects Cost Nearly $23 Billion in 2013
(Published: January 19, 2017)

Key Findings: New CDC Study Provides Basis for Future Research on Medication Use During Pregnancy
(Published: July 15, 2016)

Key Findings: Antibiotic Use among Women with Urinary Tract Infections in the First Trimester of Pregnancy and Birth Defects
(Published: July 15, 2016)

Key Findings: Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects Now Common Throughout the United States
In a new report in the journal, Pediatrics, CDC researchers and partners reviewed the overall effects of critical CHD screening, including costs and health outcomes (cost-effectiveness) of performing screenings, challenges at the state level for screening, and implementing screening in special settings.
(Published: April 15, 2016)

Key Findings: Gastroschisis – a Serious Birth Defect – Continues to Increase
New CDC research shows that the occurrence of gastroschisis, a birth defect where a baby’s intestines stick outside of the body through a hole beside the belly button, continues to increase over time. Importantly, the causes for the continued increase in the number of babies born with gastroschisis are unknown, and public health research is urgently needed to uncover more clues.
(Published: January 21, 2016)

Key Findings: Cost savings of spina bifida prevention after folic acid fortification in the United States
Recently, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a new study looking at the costs associated with a United States requirement that folic acid (a B vitamin) be added to all cereal grain products labeled as enriched (also called folic acid fortification)
(Published: January 11, 2016)

Key Findings: New Down Syndrome Growth Charts
New growth charts for children with Down syndrome in the United States are available
(Published: October 26, 2015)

Key Findings:
Factors associated with Dandy-Walker Malformation (DWM), a rare birth defect of the brain
(Published: May 19, 2015)

Key Findings:
Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Occurrence of Major Birth Defects
(Published February 18, 2015)

Public Perception of Birth Defects Terminology
Although the description “birth defects” is a common phrase, some people with birth defects and their family members have voiced concerns that this phrase promotes a negative view among the general public.
(Published October 22, 2014)

Updated National Birth Prevalence Estimates for Selected Birth Defects in the United States, 2004-2006
This CDC study used data from 14 birth defects tracking programs to look at the birth prevalence of birth defects in the United States from 2004-2006. Birth prevalence is the number of babies born with birth defects (including stillbirths and elective terminations) compared to the total number of live births in the population.
(Published October 22, 2014)

Maternal Asthma Medication Use and the Risk of Selected Birth Defects
Recently, researchers used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) to examine maternal asthma medication use during pregnancy and the risk of certain birth defects.
(Published October 22, 2014)

Pregnant? Don’t Smoke!
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby’s health.
(Published: November 13, 2017)

Down Syndrome
Learn about Down syndrome and about Mark, an adult living with the condition. You can also learn what CDC is doing to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.
(Published: October 2, 2017)

World Down Syndrome Day
Read one mother’s reflection on the birth of her son, Caleb, who has Down syndrome.
(Published: March 20, 2017)

Birth Defects Around the World
Find out how birth defects affect babies worldwide.
(Published: February 27, 2017)

Pregnant? Talk to Your Doctor About Infections
Some infections before and during pregnancy can hurt both you and your baby.
(Published: January 26, 2017)

Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection
Some infections before and during pregnancy can hurt both you and your baby. Learn how to protect yourself from animals and insects known to carry diseases, such as Zika virus.
(Published: January 26, 2017)

World Down Syndrome Day: Raising Awareness
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day, read Stacy’s hopeful story about her son Caleb who has Down Syndrome.
{Published March 18, 2016)

Healthy Pregnancy: Living My PACT
Read stories from three pregnant women who share their perspectives of how they are striving for heathy babies by #LivingMyPACT.
(Published: January 25, 2016)

Birth Defects: 1 in 33
Read these family stories to learn more about birth defects and how these conditions can impact lives.
(Published: January 19, 2016)

Folic Acid and Birth Defects
Every woman needs to get enough folic acid each day, even if she does not plan to become pregnant.
(Published: January 11, 2016)

Living with Down Syndrome
Learn more about Down syndrome and about Keaton, a boy with Down syndrome.
(Published: October 5, 2015)

Talk to your doctor about medication use
Make a PACT to get healthy, physically and mentally, before and during pregnancy to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
(Published: January 26, 2015)

Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
Get healthy before and during pregnancy
(Published: January 20, 2015)

Birth Defects
How to Avoid Harmful Substances
(Published: January 12, 2015)

Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention
July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month—an observance by individuals and organizations to help make people more aware of and give them information about cleft and craniofacial defects and other conditions that can affect the head and face.
(Published: November 21, 2014)

Articles of Interest

*Articles are listed in order of date published.


Incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — 28 States, 1999–2013.
CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Aug; 65(31):799–802.
[Read article]

Congenital Heart Defects in the United States– Estimating the Magnitude of the Affected Population in the United States.
Circulation. 2016 Jul 12; 134(2):101-9.
Gilboa SM, Devine OJ, Kucik JE, Oster ME, Riehle-Colarusso T, Nembhard WN, Xu P, Correa A, Jenkins K, Marelli AJ.
[Read article]

Retrospective assessment of cost savings from prevention: folic acid fortification and spina bifida in the US.
Am J Prev Med. 2016 May 31;50(5):S74-80.
Grosse SD, Berry RJ, Tilford JM, Kucik JE, Waitzman NJ.
[Read article]

Public Health Practice of Population-Based Birth Defects Surveillance Programs in the United States.
J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016 May-Jun;22(3):E1-8.
Mai CT, Kirby RS, Correa A, Rosenberg D, Petros M, Fagen MC. (2014).
[Read summary]

Survival of children with trisomy 13 and trisomy 18: A multi-state population-based study.
Am J Med Genet A. 2016 Apr; 107(4):825-837.
Meyer RE, Liu G, Gilboa SM, Ethen MK, Aylsworth AS, Powell CM, Flood TJ, Mai CT, Wang Y, Canfield MA; National Birth Defects Prevention Network.
[Read article]

Elevated body mass index and decreased diet quality among women and risk of birth defects in their offspring.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Molec Teratol. 2016 Mar; 106(3):164-71.
Carmichael SL, Yang W, Gilboa S, Ailes E, Correa A, Botto LD, Feldkamp ML, Shaw GM, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read summary]

Data linkage between the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to assess workplace physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and emotional stressors during pregnancy. National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2009.
Am J Ind Med. 2016 Feb; 59(2):137-49.
Lee LJ, Symanski E, Lupo PJ, Tinker SC, Razzaghi H, Pompeii LA, Hoyt AT, Canfield MA, Chan W.
[Read summary]

Assessment of YouTube videos as a source of information on medication use in pregnancy.
Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2016 Jan; 25(1):35-44.
Hansen C, Interrante JD, Ailes EC, Frey MT, Broussard CS, Godoshian VJ, Lewis C, Polen KND, Garcia AP, Gilboa SM.
[Read article] [Key Findings]

Assessing the Practices of Population-Based Birth Defects Surveillance Programs Using the CDC Strategic Framework, 2012.
Public Health Rep. 2015 Nov-Dec;130(6):722-30.
Mai CT, Correa A, Kirby RS, Rosenberg D, Petros M, Fagen MC.
[Read article]

Population-based birth defects data in the United States, 2008 to 2012: Presentation of state-specific data and descriptive brief on variability of prevalence.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Nov;103(11):972-93.
Mai CT, Isenburg J, Langlois PH, Alverson CJ, Gilboa SM, Rickard R, Canfield MA, Anjohrin SB, Lupo PJ, Jackson DR, Stallings EB, Scheuerle AE, Kirby RS; National Birth Defects Prevention Network.
[Read article]

Clinician’s primer to ICD-10-CM coding for cleft lip/palate care.
Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2015 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]
Allori AC, Cragan JD, Porta GC, Mulliken JB, Meara JG, Bruun R, Shusterman S, Cassell CH, Raynor E, Santiago P, Marcus JR.
[Read summary]

Factors associated with travel time and distance to access hospital care among children with spina bifida.
Maternal and Child Health J. 2015 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Radcliff E, Delmelle E, Kirby RS, Laditka SB, Correia J, Cassell CH.
[Read summary]

Renin-angiotensin system blocker fetopathy [commentary].
J Pediatr. 2015 Oct; 167(4):792-4.
Cragan JD, Young BA, Correa A.
[Read article]

Survival of Children with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Pediatrics. 2015 Oct; 136(4):e864-70.
Siffel C, Riehle-Colarusso T, Oster ME, Correa A.
[Read article]

Development and implementation of the first national data quality standards for population-based birth defects surveillance programs in the United States.
BMC Public Health. 2015 Sept; 15:925.
Anderka M, Mai CT, Romitti PA, Copeland G, Isenburg J, Feldkamp ML, Krikov S, Rickard R, Olney RS, Canfield MA, Stanton C, Mosley B, Kirby RS.
[Read article]

Maternal exposures in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study: Time trends of selected exposures.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Aug; 103(8):703-12.
Dawson AL, Razzaghi H, Arth A, Canfield MA, Parker SE, Reefhuis J; National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read summary]

Congenital Heart Defects and Receipt of Special Education Services.
Pediatrics. 2015 Aug; 136(3):496-504.
Riehle-Colarusso T, Autry A, Razzaghi H, Boyle CA, Mahle WT, Van Naarden Braun K, Correa A.
[Read article] [Key Findings]

Factors associated with hospital use among patients aged 1-64 years with congenital heart defects, Arkansas 2006-2011.
Birth Defects Research Part A. 2015 July 14; 103(7):589-96.
Simeone RM, Oster ME, Hobbs CA, Robbins JM, Collins RT, Honein MA.
[Read article]

What we don’t know can hurt us: Nonresponse bias assessment in birth defects research.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 July 14;103(7):603-9.
Strassle PD, Cassell CH, Shapira SK, Tinker SC, Meyer RE, Grosse SD.
[Read article]

Population-based study of hospital costs for hospitalizations of infants, children, and adults with a congenital heart defect, Arkansas 2006 to 2011.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 June 10; 103(9):814-20.
Simeone RM, Oster ME, Hobbs CA, Robbins JM, Collins RT, Honein MA.
[Read article]

The National Birth Defects Prevention Study: A Review of the Methods.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 June 2; 103(8):656-69.
Reefhuis J, Gilboa SM, Anderka M, Browne ML, Feldkamp ML, Hobbs CA, Jenkins MM, Langlois PH, Newsome KB, Olshan AF, Romitti PA, Shapira SK, Shaw GM, Tinker SC, Honein MA; National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read article]

Maternal occupational pesticide exposure and risk of congenital heart defects in the national birth defects prevention study.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 June 2; 103(10):823-33.
Rocheleau CM, Bertke SJ, Lawson CC, Romitti PA, Sanderson WT, Malik S, Lupo PJ, Desrosiers TA, Bell E, Druschel C, Correa A, Reefhuis J; National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read article]

State Legislation, Regulations, and Hospital Guidelines for Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects – United States, 2011-2014.
CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 June; 64(23):625-30.
[Read article]

Estimated Number of Infants Detected and Missed by Critical Congenital Heart Defect Screening.
Pediatrics. 2015 June; 135(6):1000-8.
Ailes EC, Gilboa SM, Honein MA, Oster ME.
[Read summary]

Specific SSRIs and birth defects: Bayesian analysis to interpret new data in the context of previous reports.
BMJ. 2015 May; 351:h3190.
Reefhuis J, Devine O, Friedman JM, Louik C, Honein MA.
[Read article]

Prevalence of Prescription Medication Use among Non-pregnant Women of Childbearing Age and Pregnant Women in the United States – NHANES, 1999 – 2006.
Matern Child Health J. Matern Child Health J. 2015 May; 19(5): 1097-1106.
Tinker SC, Broussard CS, Frey MT, Gilboa SM.
[Read article]

U.S. women of childbearing age who are at possible increased risk of a neural tube defect-affected pregnancy due to suboptimal red blood cell folate concentrations, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 to 2012.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Apr 17;103(6):517-26.
Tinker SC, Hamner HC, Qi YP, Crider KS.
[Read article]

Next steps for birth defects research and prevention: The birth defects study to evaluate pregnancy exposures (BD-STEPS).
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 April 6 103(8):733-40.
Tinker SC, Carmichael SL, Anderka M, Browne ML, Caspers Conway KM, Meyer RE, Nembhard WN, Olney RS, Reefhuis J; Birth Defects Study To Evaluate Pregnancy exposureS.
[Read article]

Detection of critical congenital heart defects: Review of contributions from prenatal and newborn screening.
Seminars in Perinatology. 2015 Apr; 39 (3): 230-237.
Olney RS, Ailes EC, Sontag MK.
[Read article]

A Population-Based Study of the Association of Prenatal Diagnosis With Survival Rate for Infants With Congenital Heart Defects.
Am J Cardiol. 2014 March 15;113:1036-1040.
Oster ME, Kim CH, Kusano AS, Cragan JD, Dressler P, Hales AR, Mahle WT, Correa A.
[Read article]

Methods for surveillance of fetal alcohol syndrome: The fetal alcohol syndrome surveillance network II (FASSNetII) – Arizona, Colorado, New York, 2009 – 2014.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Mar; 103(3):196-202.
O’Leary LA, Ortiz L, Montgomery A, Fox DJ, Cunniff C, Ruttenber M, Breen A, Pettygrove S, Klumb D, Druschel C, Frías JL, Robinson LK, Bertrand J, Ferrara K, Kelly M, Gilboa SM, Meaney FJ; FASSNetII.
[Read article]

Adjusting for bias due to incomplete case ascertainment in case-control studies of birth defects.
Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Mar; 181(8):595-607.
Howards PP, Johnson CY, Honein MA, Flanders WD; National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read article]

Challenges in studying modifiable risk factors for birth defects.
Current Epidemiology Reports. 2015 Mar; 2:23-30.
Tinker SC, Gilboa S, Reefhuis J, Jenkins MM, Schaeffer M, Moore CA.
[Read article]

Factors associated with high hospital resource utilization in a population-based study of children with orofacial clefts.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Feb 26;103(2):127-43
Razzaghi H, Dawson A, Grosse SD, Allori AC, Kirby RS, Olney RS, Correia J, Cassell CH.
[Read article]

Prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes among non-pregnant women of reproductive age in the United States, 1999-2010.
Prim Care Diabetes. 2015 Feb; 9(1):71-3
Razzaghi H, Marcinkevage J, Peterson C.
[Read summary]

Opioid prescription claims among women of reproductive age – United States, 2008-2012.
CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Jan 23; 64(2):37-41.
[Read article]

Supplement use and other characteristics among pregnant women with a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect – United States, 1997 – 2009.
CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Jan 16; 64(1):6-9.
[Read article]

Updated estimates of neural tube defects prevented by mandatory folic Acid fortification – United States, 1995-2011.
CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Jan 16;64[1]:1-5.
[Read article]

Preventable health and cost burden of adverse birth outcomes associated with pre-gestational diabetes in the United States.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jan;212(1):74.e1-9
Peterson C, Grosse SD, Li R, Sharma A, Razzaghi H, Herman WH, Gilboa SM.
[Read article]

Epidemiology of twinning in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997 to 2007.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2014 Oct; 103(2):85-99.
Dawson AL, Tinker SC, Jamieson DJ, Hobbs CA, Rasmussen SA, Reefhuis J; National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
[Read article]

All Articles

Search a database of articles that have been published by CDC authors within the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities from 1990 to present.


Error processing SSI file