Maternal Medicaid Recipient Status and Congenital Malformations among New York State Live Births in 2010

Birth Defects Res. 2017 Nov 1;109(18):1460-1470. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1107. Epub 2017 Sep 6.


Background: Congenital malformations are a leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, and risk for some congenital malformations varies by socioeconomic status (SES). Medicaid provides health insurance for people with low income, and covers approximately half of all live births in the United States. Income level is one aspect of SES. Studies have shown relationships between SES and some congenital malformations.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined associations between maternal Medicaid recipient status and 46 congenital malformations in New York State for birth year 2010. The impact of Medicaid continuous enrollment (CE) status was evaluated in a sub-analysis of Medicaid recipients. Logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: The study cohort included 240,721 live births, 3778 infants with one or more congenital malformation of interest, and 118,631 maternal Medicaid recipients at the time of the infant's birth. Odds ratios for cleft lip with or without cleft palate and rectal atresia or stenosis were increased for Medicaid recipients compared with non-Medicaid recipients. However, odds ratios for cleft lip with or without cleft palate and rectal atresia or stenosis were decreased for CE compared with non-CE Medicaid recipients.

Conclusion: Maternal Medicaid recipient status was associated with few of the 46 congenital malformations evaluated. However, some associations found were modified by CE in Medicaid. Birth Defects Research 109:1460-1470, 2017.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: Medicaid; SES; birth defect; congenital malformation; socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / ethnology
  • Live Birth / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • United States