Birth Defects

Birth defects represent the leading cause of infant mortality. Among survivors, many complex birth defects are associated with serious functional and neurodevelopmental outcomes. The etiologies of many birth defects are currently unknown, and therefore efforts to prevent or ameliorate them are hindered. Furthermore, the broad diversity of birth defects makes them especially difficult to study, as they impact every major structure and organ system of the body, and any specific birth defect is relatively rare in any single institution. This is a pressing national problem and many projects are ongoing that investigate risk factors for structural birth defects, and studies addressing the health of babies born with birth defect.

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