Sex Ratios Among Infants with Birth Defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997–2009

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A small number of population-based studies have examined sex differences among infants with birth defects. This study presents estimates of sex ratio for both isolated cases and those with multiple congenital anomalies, as well as by race/ethnicity. Male–female sex ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated for 25,952 clinically reviewed case infants included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997–2009), a large population-based case-control study of birth defects. The highest elevations in sex ratios (i.e., male preponderance) among isolated non-cardiac defects were for craniosynostosis (2.12), cleft lip with cleft palate (2.01), and cleft lip without cleft palate (1.78); the lowest sex ratios (female preponderance) were for choanal atresia (0.45), cloacal exstrophy (0.46), and holoprosencephaly (0.64). Among isolated cardiac defects, the highest sex ratios were for aortic stenosis (2.88), coarctation of the aorta (2.51), and d-transposition of the great arteries (2.34); the lowest were multiple ventricular septal defects (0.52), truncus arteriosus (0.63), and heterotaxia with congenital heart defect (0.64). Differences were observed by race/ethnicity for some but not for most types of birth defects. The sex differences we observed for specific defects, between those with isolated versus multiple defects, as well as by race/ethnicity, demonstrate patterns that may suggest etiology and improve classification. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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