Texas Health Data, Birth Defects Data

Birth defects data are from the Texas Birth Defects Registry. The Registry uses active surveillance to collect information about infants and fetuses with birth defects born to women residing in Texas. The Texas Birth Defects Registry became statewide starting with deliveries in 1999. Data for years prior to 1999 are not included here, but can be obtained by contacting the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch (see below).

Data are presented for 49 selected birth defect categories, plus a category labeled “infants and fetuses with any monitored birth defect”. A glossary of birth defect terms provides more information about particular defects ( http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/birthdefects/glossary.shtm).

It is not meaningful to sum individual birth defect categories to obtain the total number of children with birth defects, for two reasons. First, infants and fetuses often have more than one birth defect, and when that happens, they are counted for each birth defect they have. Second,the 49 birth defect categories do not represent all types of birth defects monitored. For a total, select “infants and fetuses with any monitored birth defect”.

Birth defects data are presented in 4 modules:

The following 14 counties are grouped together as Border counties: Brewster, Cameron, El Paso, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Terrell, Val Verde, Webb, Zapata. All other counties are grouped together as Nonborder counties.

Using Statewide, Border or Regional data, you can create tables of birth defects by year, maternal age group, maternal race-ethnicity, and infant sex. Additionally, data tables can be restricted to a particular age group, race-ethnic group, and sex.

For County data, tables of birth defects can be produced by year and geographic area only, to protect confidentiality.

Counts and rates for the birth defect hypospadias are reported for males only. Data for this defect will not be included in tables for multiple birth defects, unless "male only" is selected as an optional parameter.

In all modules, available statistics include counts (frequencies), rates per 10,000 live births, and confidence intervals for the rate (either 95% or 99%).

If you need information about birth defects that is not available in Texas Health Data, please contact the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch at 512-458-7232 or birthdefects@dshs.state.tx.us. Additional information can also be found on the Birth Defects website, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/birthdefects/default.shtm.

Last updated April 27, 2010