Association between maternal age and birth defects of unknown etiology ― United States, 1997–2007§

Authors

  • Simerpal K. Gill,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    2. Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cheryl Broussard,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Owen Devine,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ridgely Fisk Green,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sonja A. Rasmussen,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jennita Reefhuis,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop E-86, Atlanta, GA 30333
    Search for more papers by this author
  • and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author

  • This article is a U.S. Government work, and is in the public domain in the USA.

  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • §

    The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

  • Funding: This work was supported through cooperative agreements under PA 96043, PA 02081, and FOA DD09-001 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention participating in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Birth defects affect 3% of babies born, and are one of the leading causes of infant mortality. Both younger and older maternal age may pose increased risks for certain birth defects. This study assessed the relationship between maternal age at the estimated delivery date and the risk for birth defects. METHODS: Data were obtained from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a population-based case-control study including mothers across 10 states. Maternal age was stratified into six categories: <20, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, 30 to 34, 35 to 39, and ≥40 years, and also analyzed as a continuous variable. Logistic regression models adjusted formaternal race/ethnicity, education, body mass index (BMI), folic acid use, smoking, gravidity, and parental age difference were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: For maternal age <20 years, associations with total anomalous pulmonary venous return (aOR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3–4.0), amniotic band sequence (aOR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5–3.8), and gastroschisis (aOR, 6.1; 95% CI, 4.8–8.0) were observed. For the ≥40 year age group, associations with several cardiac defects, esophageal atresia (aOR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.7–4.9), hypospadias (aOR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.4–3.0), and craniosynostosis (aOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.4) were observed. Results using maternal age as a continuous variable were consistent with those that used categorized maternal age. CONCLUSION: Elucidating risk factors specific to women ateither extreme of maternal age may offer prevention opportunities. All women should be made aware of prevention opportunities, such as folic acid supplementation, to reduce the occurrence of birth defects. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary