Birth defect
Any defect present in a baby at birth, irrespective of whether the defect is caused by a genetic factor or by prenatal events that are not genetic. Birth defects may involve many different organs including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, bones, and intestinal tract. These defects can occur for many reasons including inherited (genetic) conditions, toxic exposure of the fetus (for example, to alcohol), birth injury and, in many cases, for unknown reasons. All parents are at risk of having a baby with a birth defect, regardless of age, race, income or residence. In the US (and many other developed nations), 2-3% of babies are born with a medically significant birth defect. The infants with birth defects include many with heart defects, cleft lip or palate, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and limb defects. Birth defects are now the leading cause of infant mortality (death) in the United States (and many other developed nations). Birth defects are present in one of every three babies that die in the US. How a particular birth defect affects a child varies and depends greatly on the severity of the defect and whether or not other medical problems are present. The parents of children with birth defects are encouraged to discuss the specifics of the effects of the defect on their child's current condition with their child's doctor. A birth defect is also called a congenital malformation or a congenital anomaly.

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birth defect n a physical or biochemical defect (as cleft palate, phenylketonuria, or Down syndrome) that is present at birth and may be inherited or environmentally induced

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congenital defect a defect present at birth; the term may refer to a morphological defect (dysmorphism) or to an inborn error of metabolism.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • birth defect — [n] congenital defect abnormality, congenital malformation, deformity; concept 580 …   New thesaurus

  • birth defect — birth′ defect n. pat any abnormality present at birth • Etymology: 1970–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • birth defect — n. any of various mental, physical, or biochemical defects present in a baby at birth …   English World dictionary

  • birth defect — noun a defect that is present at birth • Syn: ↑congenital anomaly, ↑congenital defect, ↑congenital disorder, ↑congenital abnormality • Hypernyms: ↑defect, ↑anomaly, ↑anomalousness …   Useful english dictionary

  • birth defect — Pathol. any physical, mental, or biochemical abnormality present at birth. Also called congenital defect. * * * Genetic or trauma induced abnormality present at birth. A more restrictive term than congenital disorder, it covers abnormalities that …   Universalium

  • birth defect — noun Date: 1971 a physical or biochemical defect that is present at birth and may be inherited or environmentally induced …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • birth defect — Synonyms and related words: abnormality, acute disease, affection, affliction, ailment, allergic disease, allergy, atrophy, bacterial disease, blight, cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, circulatory disease, complaint, complication,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • birth defect — (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. congenital defect, congenital malformation, deformity, abnormality, congenital deficiency, disability, mutation …   English dictionary for students

  • birth defect — noun Any of several medical disorders that are present at birth. Syn: congenital disorder …   Wiktionary

  • birth defect — imperfection or problem that is present from birth (such as a missing limb, etc.) …   English contemporary dictionary

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