According to Samanthi Abheywardana, author of ‘Australian report’ that birth defects have been found to be more common among boys than girls.
The most commonly occurring defect is hypospadia, an abnormally placed urinary opening in the male urethra.
Though conditions affect both sexes, but are more prevalent in boys that include congenital heart diseases, oesophageal defects and kidney cysts.Chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome are the second most commonly reported congenital anomolies.
‘For every 10,000 babies born during 2002-2003 about 11 were born with Down syndromes,’ the report said.’ When terminations of pregnancies are included, the total estimated rate for Down syndrome was just over 26 per 10,000 pregnancies- an increase from previous reports.
The risk of having a baby with Down syndrome increases with age, from one in 1,500 for mothers aged 20-24, to one in 184 for women 40 and over.
The estimated prevalence of neutral tube defects was about 10 per 10,000 pregnancies, about 13 percent less than the 1998-2001 period.The rate of anencephaly than the most severe form of neural tube defect, which is always fatal, declined from 5.1 per 10,000 pregnancies in 1998 to 3.8 per 10,000 pregnancies in 2003- a 25% reduction.A higher overall rate of congenital anomalies was reported for the births to indigenous women compared with non-indigenous women.