Utah Birth Defect Newtork
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Striving to Prevent Birth Defects
Defect Information Defect Information Prevention Services Providers and Members About UBDN

Cost & Impact

Birth Defects are Common:

  • 1 in 33 newborn babies has a structural birth defect.

  • More than 120,000 babies are born with birth defects each year in the United States.(CDC) (150,000 per MOD)

  • 1,000 babies are born with a birth defect in Utah each year. (UBDN data)

  • Heart defects are the most common type of structural birth defect, affecting one in 125 babies and 30,000 babies in the U.S. Heart defects make up about one-third to one-fourth of all birth defects.

  • 1 in 450 babies born in Utah (UBDN data) and 6,800 babies each year in the U.S. have an oral facial cleft. http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r060105.htm

  • Down syndrome affects 1 of every 733 live births (CDC) and 5,500 babies in the U.S. each year. http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r060105.htm

  • Neural tube defects which are defects of the spine and brain affect about 1 in 1,365 births in Utah. (UBDN data)

Birth Defect Have Significant Impact:

  • Birth defects often require surgery and other medical treatments.

  • Birth defects are the leading cause of infant death, accounting for 20% of all infant deaths. (CDC)

  • 1 in 10 infants with birth defects will die in the first year of life.

  • Babies with birth defects are at 15 times more likely to die than a baby without a birth defect and are most likely to die in the first month of life.

  • More than 12,000 babies with birth defects die each year.

  • 30% of pediatric admissions to the hospital are due to birth defects and genetic disorders.

  • 10 to 15% of adult admissions to the hospital are due to birth defects.

Birth defects are costly:

  • The cost of birth defects is at least $8 billion dollars each year. (Waitzman)

  • Utah's estimated lifetime cost for 12 selected birth defects was about $74 million dollars. (Harris and Levy, 1997)

  • Lifetime costs range from $140,000 to $700,000 per individual's lifetime depending on the particular birth defect. (Waitzman)

  • The average cost for a hospital stay for congenital anomalies is $40,777. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/birthdefects/about.shtm

Birth defects are a huge challenge:

  • Both genetic and environmental factors can cause birth defects.

  • The cause of 80% of birth defects is unknown (UBDN data).

  • Some birth defects like fetal alcohol syndrome are 100% preventable. Yet an estimated 130,000 pregnant women per year in the United States consume alcohol at levels shown to increase the risk of having a baby with FAS or other prenatal alcohol-related condition. (CDC)