Prenatal diagnostics ultrasound was established in Russia in 2000 as a routine method of screening for birth defects. The aims of the current study were twofold: to assess changes in birth defects prevalence at birth and perinatal mortality after ultrasound screening was implemented and to estimate prenatal detection rates for congenital malformations in the city of Monchegorsk (Murmansk County, North-West Russia). The Murmansk County Birth Registry and the Kola Birth Registry were the primary sources of information, and include 30 448 pregnancy outcomes in Monchegorsk for the period 1973-2011. Data from these registries were supplemented with information derived from hospital records about pregnancy terminations for 2000-2007. The total number of newborns with any kind of birth defects in Monchegorsk during 1973-2011 was 1099, of whom 816 were born in the 1973-2000 period. The prevalence of defects at birth increased from 34.2/1000 (95% CI = 31.9-36.5) to 42.8/1000 newborns (95% CI = 38.0-47.7) after prenatal ultrasound screening was formally implemented. We observed significant decreases (p < 0.05) in the birth prevalence of congenital malformations of the circulatory system, the musculoskeletal system (including deformations...Continue Reading
Birth defects encompass structural and functional alterations that occur during embryonic or fetal development and are present since birth. The cause may be genetic, environmental or unknown and can result in physical and/or mental impairment. Here is the latest research on birth defects.