Birth Defect Survival for Hispanic Subgroups

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birth defects, congenital heart disease, health disparities, Hispanic, public health, survival

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Background: Previous studies demonstrate that infant and childhood mortality differ among children with birth defects by maternal race/ethnicity, but limited mortality information is published for Hispanic ethnic subgroups.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study using data for children with birth defects born to Hispanic mothers during 1999–2007 from 12 population-based state birth defects surveillance programs. Deaths were ascertained through multiple sources. Survival probabilities were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine the effect of clinical and demographic factors on mortality risk.

Results: Among 28,497 Hispanic infants and children with major birth defects, 1-year survival was highest for infants born to Cuban mothers at 94.6% (95% confidence intervals [CI] 92.7–96.0) and the lowest for Mexicans at 90.2% (95% CI 89.7–90.6; p < .0001). For children aged up to 8 years, survival remained highest for Cuban Americans at 94.1% (95% CI 91.8–95.7) and lowest for Mexican Americans at 89.2% (95% CI 88.7–89.7; p = .0002). In the multivariable analysis using non-Hispanic White as the reference group, only infants and children born to Mexican mothers were noted to have a higher risk of mortality for cardiovascular defects.

Conclusions: This analysis provides a better understanding of survival and mortality for Hispanic infants and children with selected birth defects. The differences found in survival, particularly the highest survival rates for Cuban American children and lowest for Mexican American children with birth defects, underscores the importance of assessing Hispanic ethnic subgroups, as differences among subgroups appear to exist.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Birth Defects Research, v. 110, issue 4, p. 352-363