Epidemiology of Birth Defects in Eastern China and the Associated Risk Factors

Med Sci Monit. 2022 Jan 17:28:e933782. doi: 10.12659/MSM.933782.


BACKGROUND This study aimed to survey the overall situation of birth defects (BDs) among citizens of Hangzhou, China, and the risk factors of different BD types. MATERIAL AND METHODS We collected the data of 4349 perinatal infants with BDs in Hangzhou. The potentially associated risk factors of BDs were recorded and logistic regression analysis was used to predict the high incidence of BDs. RESULTS Among all perinatal infants with BDs, there were 4105 (94.3%) single births, 225 (5.2%) twin births, and 10 (0.2%) multiple births. In clinical outcomes, there were 2477 (57.0%) live births, 1806 (41.5%) dead fetuses, and 11 (0.3%) stillbirths. Down syndrome ranked first, accounting for 30.7% of the total births, followed by cleft lip and polydactyly. Low family income, nulliparity, high parity, high education level, and taking contraceptives in early pregnancy were found to be risk factors of Down syndrome. Low parity, low education level, and pesticide exposure were found to be risk factors of cleft lip. For polydactyly, young age of the mother and a parity above 0 were identified as risk factors. CONCLUSIONS Different risks factors can influence BD development and potentially help to predict specific BD types, such as demographic features and harmful exposure in early pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cleft Lip / epidemiology
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology*
  • Contraceptive Agents / adverse effects
  • Down Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Parity
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Pesticides