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    Birth Defects Epidemiology & Surveillance
    Mail Code 1964
    P.O. Box 149347
    Austin, TX 78714-9347

    Phone: 512-776-7232
    Fax: 512-776-7330

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Birth Defects Risk Factor Series

Risk Factor Series Baby

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Interested in participating in clinical trials relevant to birth defects?  Find more information here.

Learn more about preventing birth defects.

More information on specific teratogens (substances or exposures that can cause birth defects) is available here.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is an abnormality that is present at birth, such as a missing limb, malformed heart, or Down syndrome. Birth defects occur in about 3% of births--more than 122,000 babies in the United States every year. Women of all ages, races/ethnicities, education, and income levels are at risk for having a baby with a birth defect. The causes of most birth defects are unknown but through research and surveillance, causes may be identified and prevention measures developed.

Learn about specific birth defects

The primary purpose of these reports on specific birth defects is to provide background necessary for conducting cluster investigations. They summarize literature about risk factors associated with these defects. The strengths and limitations of each reference were not critically examined prior to inclusion in this report. Consumers and professionals using this information are advised to consult the references given for more in-depth information. These reports are for information purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease or other conditions and are not intended to provide a determination or assessment of the state of health. Individuals affected by these conditions should consult their physician and when appropriate, seek genetic counseling.


Central Nervous System

Neural Tube Defects

Eye and Ear

Anotia/Microtia (Ear Defects)

Cardiac and Circulatory

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
Conotruncal Heart Defects
Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Oral Clefts

Oral Clefts


Anal Atresia
Esophageal Atresia
Intestinal Atresia/Stenosis
Pyloric Stenosis


Renal Agenesis


Diaphragmatic Hernia
Talipes Equinovarus (Clubfoot)


Down Syndrome
Trisomy 13
Trisomy 18
Klinefelter Syndrome
Turner Syndrome

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated October 20, 2015