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Lethal Congenital Anomalies as a Cause of Birth-Weight—Specific Neonatal Mortality

Robert L. Goldenberg, MD; Joan L. Humphrey, MPH, MBA; Christiane B. Hale, PhD, MPH; John B. Wayne, MBA
JAMA. 1983;250(4):513-515. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040053032.
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The percentage of neonatal mortality caused by lethal congenital anomalies and the distribution of specific anomalies in various birth-weight groups are presented. State vital statistics data and autopsy-confirmed data from a single hospital are compared. Of neonates who died, less than 5% who were born weighing between 500 and 999 g died of a congenital anomaly, and nearly 45% who were born weighing more than 2,500 g died of a congenital anomaly. Most deaths associated with congenital anomalies in infants born weighing more than 2,500 g are cardiac in origin. Twenty-three percent of all neonatal deaths in Alabama are attributed to a lethal congenital anomaly. Use of these data to define limits to future improvements in neonatal mortality by standard medical care is discussed.

(JAMA 1983;250:513-515)


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