Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 212874, 9 pages
Review Article

Birth Defects Surveillance in the United States: Challenges and Implications of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification Implementation

1Environmental Sciences and Health Graduate Program, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA
2School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA

Received 28 July 2014; Accepted 21 September 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Karel Allegaert

Copyright © 2014 Adel Mburia-Mwalili and Wei Yang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Major birth defects are an important public health issue because they are the leading cause of infant mortality. The most common birth defects are congenital heart defects, neural tube defects, and Down syndrome. Birth defects surveillance guides policy development and provides data for prevalence estimates, epidemiologic research, planning, and prevention. Several factors influence birth defects surveillance in the United States of America (USA). These include case ascertainment methods, pregnancy outcomes, and nomenclature used for coding birth defects. In 2015, the nomenclature used by most birth defects surveillance programs in USA will change from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. This change will have implications on birth defects surveillance, prevalence estimates, and tracking birth defects trends.