Congenital Malformations Registry - Summary Report

Statistical Summary of Children Born 1983 through 2007

Executive Summary

This Congenital Malformations Registry Summary Report presents statistical results for selected birth defects occurring among children who were born alive to New York State residents during the 25 years, 1983-2007, using data collected by the New York State Congenital Malformations Registry (CMR). Forty-five specific congenital malformations, including omphalocele and 12 major defects that are included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT), are analyzed by demographic and birth characteristics in this report. Information provided here has been obtained through mandated reporting by hospitals and physicians in New York State.

Children reported with 45 selected congenital malformations represent 2.2% of live births in New York State. Males have a higher prevalence rate of major congenital malformations than females (263 versus 180/10,000 live births), and non-Hispanic white children show a higher prevalence rate than children of any other race/ethnicity. Birth defects are more prevalent among children with low birth weight (<2499 grams) and early gestational age (<37 weeks). Overall, most children included in these analyses have a single defect, but it varies by specific malformation. Since 1992, the overall prevalence rate for children with selected congenital malformations has increased annually in New York State, probably due to better case ascertainment resulting from improved surveillance methods.

In addition to prevalence and trend analyses, mortality and survival probabilities for selected birth defects are assessed in this report. A higher proportion of children with congenital malformations die before one year of age compared to children without any birth defect and for certain defects, the infant mortality rate is 10-fold higher compared to infants with no defect (64.5 vs. 6.4/10,000 live births). Low survival probabilities are estimated for children with congenital malformations who are low birth weight and early gestational age. Among others, survival probabilities of children with congenital malformations in the central nervous system and cardiovascular system are particularly low. Moreover, increasing number of birth defects per child is an important indicator of low survival probability for children with congenital malformations.

Although it is impossible to capture every single birth defect, the CMR has made continual improvements since its inception to enable identification of most congenital malformation cases in New York State. This report contains data collected for 25 years, providing information on prevalence, trends, mortality, and survival probabilities for children with selected birth defects in New York State.

For More Information

Please contact the staff of the Congenital Malformations Registry at

Center for Environmental Health
Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1203
Albany, New York 12237