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September 2019

Ann Acad Med Singapore. 1995 May; 24(3): 421-7.

Risk factors for birth defects in Singapore: a case control study.

Thein MM, Koh D, Lee HP, Lee J, Tan KL, Phoon WO, Yip YY, Tye CY.

Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore.

To explore possible risk factors for birth defects, a matched case-control study was carried out at Kandang Kerbau Hospital in Singapore from January 1986 to December 1988. Cases and controls were selected from livebirths born in that hospital during that period. Cases were babies who were clinically detected as having defects at birth and the diagnosis reconfirmed at 6 weeks post partum. Each case was matched to a control by maternal age, ethnic background of mother, the same class of maternity ward and time of delivery. Five hundred and seventy-two matched pairs were accrued for the study. The parents of both cases and controls were interviewed at 6 weeks post partum. Information on the medical and birth history of both mother and baby was obtained from medical records. Using conditional logistic regression analysis to adjust for potential confounders, the strongest risk factors for birth defects were family history of birth defects (OR 3.3; 95% CI 1.8-6.4) and parents having a previous abnormal baby (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.1-5.3). Other notable risk factors included drug history during pregnancy (OR 1.2; 95% CI 0.8-2.0), the ingestion of traditional medicine during pregnancy (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.0-2.0), injuries or accidents during pregnancy (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.5-3.2) and maternal diabetes mellitus (OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.3-7.1). Mothers in professional occupations (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.7-2.6) and those in production occupation (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.9-1.7) had an increased risk for birth defects compared to housewives.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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