Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Epidemiology. 2003 Nov;14(6):701-6.

Hypospadias in California: trends and descriptive epidemiology.

Author information

  • 1March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation, California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Oakland, California, USA.



The occurrence of hypospadias has been reported to be increasing. The objectives of this study were to extend the literature on the descriptive epidemiology of hypospadias and to determine whether its birth prevalence increased in California in recent years. We used actively ascertained, population-based data for which detailed clinical descriptions permitted careful phenotypic classifications.


We examined registry data on 5838 male live births and stillbirths that occurred in California from 1984 through 1997. To reduce pathogenic heterogeneity, cases were classified as mild, severe, or not otherwise specified based on the anatomic position of the urethral opening. We also classified cases as isolated or nonisolated based on the presence and type of accompanying malformations. We used multivariable Poisson regression analysis to examine time trends and risk factors.


There was no evidence for an increase in prevalence of any of the case groups between 1989 and 1997. The adjusted relative risk (RR) for change in prevalence per year of isolated severe cases was 0.99 (95% confidence interval = 0.96-1.03). Adjusted RRs indicated increased risks for specific types of hypospadias with maternal non-Hispanic white race-ethnicity, higher education, older age, and nulliparity. Delivery before 37 weeks and multiple births tended either not to be associated with risk or to be associated with reduced risk. Lower birthweight was associated with increased risk for all case groups.


This study suggests that hypospadias prevalence has not been increasing in California in recent years. Differences by phenotype suggest that examining certain phenotypes separately could help to understand hypospadias etiology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center