Birth Defects: Causes and Prevention

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Na’Shayla Hervey

Birth Defects
According to research, a birth defect is a physical, mental, or biochemical abnormality that is present in infants, or babies at birth. Scientists have been baffled for centuries about how a single cell is transformed into a complicated, complex organism with many different types of cells, tissues, and organs. Birth defects have been very crucial in providing at least some answers regarding human development and function. Birth defects are also crucial in society. However, anyone could be at risk regardless of their race, sex, or age. Researchers have identified thousands of different birth defects. Currently, birth defects are said to be the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life.

Research and prevention associations have reported that one of the main impacts that birth defects have on society is its expenses. The average hospital stays for birth defects were at least six days and an average cost of $18,600 as opposed to at least five days and $8,200 for all admissions. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that hospitals spent $2.6 billion treating birth defects. Half of that money was for heart and circulatory congenital problems. Both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports indicate that among all birth defects, heart defects had the greatest economic impact. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States and other developed countries. Researchers have been tracking Utah women to improve the efforts to understand the impact of birth defect related to infant mortality and decrease the number of infants that die during their first year of life. The Utah Birth Defect Network is engaged in activities that will help prevent birth defects. Studies have shown that the prevalence of birth defects was highest among black, non-Hispanic mothers and lowest among Hispanic mothers in some...
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