Congenital anomalies: Prospective study of pattern and associated risk factors in infants presenting to a tertiary hospital in Anambra State, South-east Nigeria

  • OH Ekwunife
  • CC Okoli
  • JO Ugwu
  • VI Modekwe
  • AC Ekwesianya


Background: Contemporary understanding of the pattern of congenital anomalies is both important in its clinical management as well as in improving the overall health of the community.
Methodology: All infants presenting from January to December 2102 at the centre were prospectively studied.
Results: A total of 5010 infants were screened, of which 108 have congenital anomalies giving a prevalence of 2.2%. Major anomalies were noted in 101 (93.5%) infants. Only two (1.9%) were preterm. Consanguineous relationship was observed in 2 (1.9%) cases. Pre natal Ultrasound scan was done in 33(30.8%), but in only 7 (6.5%) was any anomaly detected Onitsha, a densely populated urban area contributed 45(42%) of the cases. Only 7(6.5%) of the mothers took herbal prescriptions in the first trimester of pregnancy. Risk of anomaly progressively rises, reaching a peak of 48% in the maternal age group of 26-30 years and drops steadily after. Gastrointestinal tract anomalies were most common (no. =28, 25.9%). Residences close to dump sites, telecom masts/base stations, electricity cables, industries and heavy motorised highways contributed to risk factors in 9-12 % of cases.
Conclusion: More of younger mothers were affected with gastro intestinal malformations predominating. The location of home environment is a potential risk factor that will require further characterisation.

Key words: Congenital disorder, Malformations, Birth defects, Risk factors, Epidemiology, Nigeria, Anambra


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eISSN: 0302-4660