Lethal Fetal Anomaly

birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth regardless of its cause.[3] Birth defects may result in disabilities that may be physicalintellectual, or developmental.[3] The disabilities can range from mild to severe.[7] Birth defects are divided into two main types: structural disorders in which problems are seen with the shape of a body part and functional disorders in which problems exist with how a body part works.[4] Functional disorders include metabolic and degenerative disorders.[4] Some birth defects include both structural and functional disorders.[4]

Birth defects may result from genetic or chromosomal disorders, exposure to certain medications or chemicals, or certain infections during pregnancy.[5] Risk factors include folate deficiencydrinking alcohol or smoking during pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes, and a mother over the age of 35 years old.[6][7] Many are believed to involve multiple factors.[7] Birth defects may be visible at birth or diagnosed by screening tests.[10] A number of defects can be detected before birth by different prenatal tests.[10]

Treatment varies depending on the defect in question.[8] This may include therapy, medication, surgery, or assistive technology.[8] Birth defects affected about 96 million people as of 2015.[11] In the United States, they occur in about 3% of newborns.[2] They resulted in about 628,000 deaths in 2015, down from 751,000 in 1990.[12][9] The types with the greatest numbers of deaths are congenital heart disease (303,000), followed by neural tube defects (65,000).[9]


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