Volume 9 Issue 19
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 19-Jan-2007 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 20-Jan-2007

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
All rights reserved.



Hospitalizations for birth defects: Statistics

(19 January 2007: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- People born with a hole between the two smaller chambers of the heart known as atrial septal defect or with other heart and circulatory conditions, accounted for a third of the 139,100 hospital admissions for birth defects in 2004, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Digestive problems such as pyloric stenosis, a narrowing of the stomach that causes vomiting, were the second-leading category of birth defects. They accounted for nearly 29,000 admissions, or about 19 percent of all birth defect cases, followed by genitourinary birth defects (9 percent) and nervous system birth defects (5 percent). The remaining 34 percent of birth defects included problems such as cleft palate, hip deformity, sunken chest, skull and facial bone defects, spinal deformity, and foot deformities.

Between 1997 and 2004, hospital rates increased by over 25 percent for heart and circulatory birth defects and digestive birth defects.

Hospitals spent $2.6 billion treating birth defects. Half the cost was for heart and circulatory congenital problems.

Although most birth defects are found within the first year of life, others may not be discovered or treated until adulthood. Some birth defects result in debilitating illness or death at a very young age, while others may be successfully treated with surgery or other treatments.

This News and Numbers is based on data in Hospitalizations for Birth Defects, 2004, HCUP Statistical Brief # 24.The report uses statistics from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of all at. from short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type as well as the uninsured.

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