We are thankful for faculty like Dr. Russell Kirby who work to prevent birth defects

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Dr. Russell Kirby and colleagues publish article on trends of selected congenital malformations.


Russell Kirby, PhD, MS, and colleagues published “Prevalence and trends of selected congenital malformations in New York state, 1983 to 2007” in the October issue of Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology.

Dr. Kirby is a professor and the Marrell Endowed Chair in the USF College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health. He directs the USF Birth Defects Surveillance Program and advises the Maternal and Child Health Student Organization.  In April, graduate students in public health presented him with the 2013 Outstanding Professor Award.

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Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2013 Oct;97(10):619-27. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23160. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Prevalence and trends of selected congenital malformations in New York state, 1983 to 2007.

Kim K, Wang Y, Kirby RS, Druschel CM.


School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, One University Place, Rensselaer, New York.



Major birth defects result in high infant mortality and morbidity. It is important to evaluate the burden of birth defects and trends for future intervention and public health improvement. Using the New York State (NYS) Congenital Malformations Registry data, we examined the prevalence and trends of birth defects among children in NYS during 25 years of surveillance.


Children who had any of the 21 selected birth defects and were born to NYS residents between 1983 and 2007 were selected. The prevalence of each defect was characterized by demographic and birth factors, and the prevalence ratio was calculated. Live births of NYS residents for the same birth year period were used as the denominators for calculating the prevalence. The prevalence trends of birth defects were analyzed by maternal age and race/ethnicity.


Compared with non-Hispanic whites, we detected 33%, 21%, and 37% higher prevalence of encephalocele, lower limb deficiencies and omphalocele among non-Hispanic blacks, respectively, and 22% higher prevalence of gastroschisis among Hispanics. Increasing trends of gastroschisis and Down syndrome among non-Hispanic blacks and decreasing trends of spina bifida and limb deficiencies were observed in NYS.


The findings from this study suggest the existence of racial disparities among children with selected birth defects in NYS. The increasing trends of gastroschisis and Down syndrome observed in NYS are consistent with nationwide trends. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 97:619-627, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


birth defects, birth defects prevalence, cohort study, congenital malformations registry, long-term trends



[PubMed – in process]