First -year mortality and survival among infants with selected congenital anomalies in Texas, 1995 to 1997

Wendy Nicole Nembhard, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Congenital anomalies have been a leading cause of infant mortality for the past twenty years in the United States. Few registry-based studies have investigated the mortality experience of infants with congenital anomalies. Therefore, a registry-based mortality study was conducted of 2776 infants from the Texas Birth Defects Registry who were born January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1997, with selected congenital anomalies. Infants were matched to linked birth-infant death files from the Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. One year Kaplan-Meier survival curves, and mortality estimates were generated for each of the 23 anomalies by maternal race/ethnicity, infant sex, birth weight, gestational age, number of life-threatening anomalies, prenatal diagnosis, hospital of birth and other variables. There were 523 deaths within the first year of life (mortality rate = 191.0 per 1,000 infants). Infants with gastroschisis, trisomy 21, and cleft lip ± palate had the highest first year survival (92.91%, 92.32%, and 87.59%, respectively). Anomalies with the lowest survival were anencephaly (5.13%), trisomy 13 (7.41%), and trisomy 18 (10.29%). Infants born to White, Non-Hispanic women had the highest first year survival (83.57%; 95% CI: 80.91, 85.88), followed by African-Americans (82.43%; 95% CI: 76.98, 86.70) and Hispanics (79.28%; 95% CI: 77.19, 81.21). Infants with birth weights ≥2500 grams and gestational ages ≥37 weeks also had the highest first year survival. First year mortality drastically increased as the number of life-threatening anomalies increased. Mortality was also higher for infants with anomalies that were prenatally diagnosed. Slight differences existed in survival based on infant's place of delivery. In logistic regression analysis, birth weight (<1500 grams: OR>= 7.48; 95% CI: 5.42, 10.33; 1500–2499 grams: OR = 3.48; 95% CI: 2.74, 4.42), prenatal diagnosis (OR = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.43, 2.58) and number of life-threatening anomalies (≥3: OR = 22.45; 95% CI: 11.67, 43.18) were the strongest predictors of death within the first year of life for all infants with selected congenital anomalies. To achieve further reduction in the infant mortality rate in the United States, additional research is needed to identify ways to reduce mortality among infants with congenital anomalies.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Nembhard, Wendy Nicole, "First -year mortality and survival among infants with selected congenital anomalies in Texas, 1995 to 1997" (2000). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981812.