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Health Indicator Report of Birth Defects: Prevalence of Lower Limb Deficiencies per 10,000 Live Births

Birth defects pose a significant public health problem. One in 33 babies is born with a structural birth defect in the United States. Birth defects are a leading cause of infant mortality and responsible for considerable morbidity with enormous economic and social costs. Babies and children with limb deficiencies will face various issues and difficulties, but the extent of these will depend on the location and size of the deficiency. Some potential difficulties and problems include: -Difficulties with normal development such as motor skills -Needing assistance with daily activities such as self-care -Limitations with certain movements, sports, or activities -Potential emotional and social issues because of physical appearance Specific treatment for limb defects will be determined by the child's doctor, based on things like the child's age, the extent and type of defect, and the child's tolerance for certain medications, procedures, and therapies.

Prevalence of Lower Limb Deficiences by County 2006-2011


New Mexico live-born infants with lower limb deficiencies, 2006-2011. The following International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes were used to identify lower limb deficiences: 755.30-755.39. In 1987, CDC put forth a set of 6 digit codes (the sixth digit provides greater specificity for diagnosis) based on the British Pediatric Association Classification of Diseases and the ICD-9-CM. If CDC/BPA codes are present, the following were used to identify lower limb deficiences: 755.300 - 755.390.

Data Interpretation Issues

In January 2000, birth defects became a reportable condition in New Mexico; however, birth defects were collected prior to this date. The first year of consistent data is 1998. However, data for lower limb deficiencies were not collected consistently until 2004. For lower limb deficiency data, the most recent year of analyzed data is 2011. Data are collected on live births occurring in-state to NM residents. Therefore, live births that occur in NM among out-of-state residents are excluded. Case finding/identification occurs through review of birth and death certificates, hospital discharge diagnoses, records from pediatric specialists and prenatal diagnostic providers. Birth defect cases are ascertained up to age 4; however, the majority of diagnoses are made by age 1.


A lower limb deficiency occurs when a part of or the entire leg (lower limb) of a fetus fails to form completely during pregnancy. The limb is reduced from its normal size or is missing. Prevalence of lower limb deficiencies is the number of live-born infants with a lower limb deficiency per 10,000 live-born infants. (Live-born infants are the infants born with any evidence of life).


Number of live-born infants with a lower limb deficiency.


Number of live-born infants.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The national prevalence of lower limb deficiencies among births from 2004-2006 is per 1.68 per 10,000 births. These data come from 14 birth defects surveillance programs: Arkansas, Arizona, California [8-county Central Valley], Colorado, Georgia [5-county metropolitan Atlanta], Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Utah. For more information, please see: Due to variability in the methods used by state birth defects surveillance systems and differences in populations and risk factors, state prevalence estimates may not be directly comparable with national estimates or those of other states.

Page Content Updated On 07/31/2014, Published on 07/31/2014
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Content updated: Fri, 5 Sep 2014 13:06:56 MDT