Both parents and medical professionals are set to benefit from the comprehensive study spearheaded by Newcastle University using data held by the Regional Maternity Survey Office (RMSO), which forms part of the North-East Public Health Observatory (NEPHO).
Using data collected over almost 20 years in the northern region – the longest-running study of its type in the country – it describes the survival of children born with a range of congenital anomalies.
The chances of children born with at least one congenital anomaly living up to the age of 20 were found to be 85.5 per cent.
More specifically, for those with nervous system anomalies there was a 66.2 per cent chance, 89.5 per cent in cases of cardiovascular problems, and 93.2 and 83.2 per cent respectively for urinary and digestive system anomalies.
Dr Judith Rankin, Reader in Maternal & Perinatal Epidemiology at Newcastle University, and RMSO Academic Director said: “This hugely important piece of work has only been possible because of the longevity of our data collection.
“We have been able to assess various different types of abnormalities and this underlines the immense value of having an anomaly register.
“The findings have been extremely interesting and will be of great use to parents of children with these conditions, helping them to understand what their impact may be, as well as to midwives and doctors counselling prospective parents whose babies have had anomalies detected before birth.
“There has previously been a lack of strong evidence to help medical professionals contend with the questions that parents understandably have after a child is born with a congenital abnormality, so it is to be hoped that this work can have a positive impact.”
The survival rates for a number of these anomalies beyond one year has not been previously reported.
The Northern Congenital Abnormality Survey assessed nearly 14,000 congenital anomaly cases between 1985 and 2003 to produce the findings.
published on: 6th April 2010