The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that facial abnormalities and Down's syndrome are the leading birth defects in the country.
"It helps to understand the scope of these conditions so we can understand the import they have on families around the country," said Joann Petrini, director of the perinatal data center at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation in White Plains, New York. This data is the most comprehensive to date as other previously released statistics were based on speculation. The current data has been pooled in from 11 states. Petrini, who also contributed to the report, says that as a group heart-related defects are probably the most common birth defects in the country. This new report will help the Health Department determine "the appropriate allocation of resources for basic and public health research," the report concluded.
Birth defects are largely a result of genetic problems and Down's syndrome happens to be a leading defect across the globe. Additionally cleft palate and cleft lip are also prevalent birth defects in modern times.