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Arch Dis Child. 2003 May;88(5):391-4.

Survival of children born with congenital anomalies.

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  • 1University of Glasgow, UK.



To describe the survival to age 5 years of children born with congenital anomalies.


Between 1980 and 1997, 6153 live born cases of congenital anomaly were diagnosed and registered by the population based Glasgow Register of Congenital Anomalies. They were retrospectively followed to assess their survival status from birth up to the age of 5 years.


The proportions of all live born infants with congenital anomalies surviving to the end of the first week, and first and fifth year were 94%, 89%, and 88%, respectively. Survival to age 5, the end point of follow up, was significantly poorer for infants with chromosomal anomalies (48%) compared to neural tube defects (72%), respiratory system anomalies (74%), congenital heart disease (75%), nervous system anomalies (77%), and Down's syndrome (84%).


Although almost 90% of all live born infants with congenital anomalies survive to 5 years, there are notable variations in survival between anomaly types. Our findings should be useful for both clinicians and geneticists to assess the prognosis of congenital anomalies. This information is also important for affected families and for the planning of health care needs for this high risk population.

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