Epidemiology of isolated obstructive genitourinary defect in Texas: 1999–2003

Kimberly Washburn Pieplow, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Obstructive genitourinary defects include all anomalies causing obstruction anywhere along the urinary tract. Previous studies have noted a large excess of males among infants affected by these types of defects. This is the first epidemiologic study focused solely on obstructive genitourinary defects (OGD). Methods. Data on 1,683 mild and 302 severe cases of isolated OGD born between 1999 and 2003 and ascertained by the Texas Birth Defects Registry were compared to all births in Texas during the same time period. Adjusted prevalence odds ratios (POR) were calculated for infant sex, birth weight, gestational age, mother’s race/ethnicity, mother’s age, mother’s education, parity, birth year, start of prenatal care, multiple birth, and public health region of birth. Severe cases were defined as those cases that died prior to birth, died after birth, or underwent surgery for OGD in the first year of life. Cases of OGD that had other major birth defects besides OGD were excluded from this study. Results. Severe cases of OGD were more likely than mild cases to have multiple obstructive genitourinary anomalies (37.8% vs. 18.9%) and bilateral defects (40.9% vs. 31.3%). Males had a significantly greater risk of OGD than females for both severe and mild cases: adjusted POR = 3.26 (95% CI = 2.45-4.33) and adjusted POR = 2.60 (95% CI = 2.33-2.90), respectively. Infants with both severe and mild OGD were more likely to be very preterm birth at birth compared with infants without OGD: crude POR of 16.19 (95% CI = 10.60-24.74) and 4.75 (95% CI = 3.54-6.37), respectively. Among the severe group, minority races had a decreased risk of OGD with an adjusted POR of 0.74 (95% CI = 0.55-0.98) compared with whites. Among the mild cases, increased rates of OGD were found in older mothers (adjusted POR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.05-1.15), college/higher educated mothers (adjusted POR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.01-1.13) and multiple births (adjusted POR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.01-1.62). There was also a decreased risk of mild cases among black mothers compared to whites (adjusted POR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.52-0.76). Compared to 1999, the prevalence of mild cases of OGD increased significantly over the 5 year study period with an adjusted POR of 1.10 (95% CI = 1.06-1.15) by 2003. Conclusion. Risk factors of OGD for both severe and mild forms were male sex and preterm birth. Severe cases were more likely to have multiple OGD defects and be affected bilaterally. An increase in prevalence of mild cases of OGD over time and differences in rates of black, older, and higher educated mothers in mild cases may be attributed to ultrasound use.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Pieplow, Kimberly Washburn, "Epidemiology of isolated obstructive genitourinary defect in Texas: 1999–2003" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1462474.