Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the association between birth defects (BDs), prematurity and small-for-gestational age (SGA) in a population-based sample.
Study design: Participants were singleton live births enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, including 18 737 case infants with one or more BD and 7999 controls. Logistic regression models to evaluate associations between BDs, prematurity and fetal growth were computed while adjusting for covariates.
Result: Cases were significantly more likely to be born prematurely than controls, particularly at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation. The highest odds ratios for preterm birth were found for intestinal atresia, anencephaly, gastroschisis and esophageal atresia. Infants with BDs were also significantly more likely to be SGA than controls (17.2 and 7.8%).
Conclusion: Infants with BDs are more likely than controls to be born prematurely and SGA. Findings from this study present additional evidence demonstrating a complex interaction between the development of BDs, prematurity and intrauterine growth.