Statistics on congenital anomalies in England

  • Public Health England
  • 9 Aug 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS) has recently published the statistics on congenital anomalies in England for babies delivered between 1 January and 31 December 2017.

NCARDRS collects and quantifies data on congenital anomalies and rare diseases across 10 regions (seven historical and three new) in England. The three new regions include the East of England, London and the South East.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • A total of 6798 babies with ≥one congenital anomaly were reported among 320,013 total births (live births and stillbirths) in 2017 across seven historical regions covered by NCARDRS, providing an overall prevalence rate of 212.4 per 10,000 total births or 1 in 47. The prevalence of congenital anomalies among live births was 1 in 66.
  • The timing of the first diagnosis of a congenital anomaly was known for 91.4 per cent of babies. Of these, 62.2 per cent were detected antenatally.
  • The most common antenatally detected anomalies included those of the abdominal wall (91%) and the nervous system (83%).
  • Infant mortality rates associated with congenital anomalies ranged between 8.7 and 10.9 per 10,000 live births. Thirty-five per cent of infant deaths resulted from congenital heart anomalies.
  • Lower and higher maternal ages were associated with an increase in certain congenital anomalies. While the prevalence of genetic chromosomal anomalies was higher in older mothers (aged ≥40 years), the prevalence of gastroschisis was higher in younger mothers (aged
  • The prevalence rates per 10,000 total births for Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome for all 10 regions were 28.3 (95% CI, 27.6-29.1), 8.4 (95% CI, 8.0-8.8) and 3.5 (95% CI, 3.2-3.7), respectively.