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CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSON
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax(319) 335-8034
e-mail: david-pedersen@uiowa.edu

Release: June 12, 2000

Iowa Birth Defects Registry releases 2000 Annual Report

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Birth Defects Registry has released its 2000 Annual Report, with information on birth defects rates, risk factors for birth defects and ongoing research and education activities in Iowa.

Established in 1983 and based at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, the registry is a statewide reporting system that works with all Iowa hospitals and specialty clinics to collect information about birth defects diagnosed in the state. The information collected is used to assess the occurrence of birth defects in the state and study potential risk factors and possible treatments for birth defects.

Each year, approximately 1,600 pregnancies in Iowa and 150,000 nationwide are diagnosed with birth defects. Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality.

Last year the registry was one of only eight state registries to receive an "A" for its outstanding surveillance system and research excellence from a study released by the Pew Environmental Commission at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

The annual report also includes a section on cigarette smoking and pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy may increase their infant's risk for developing certain birth defects including heart defects, skeletal defects and clefts of the lip and/or palate.

To receive a copy of the annual report, contact the Iowa Birth Defects Registry at (319) 335-8585.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.