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National Birth Defects Prevention Study


The NBDPS is one of the largest studies on the causes of birth defects in the United States. NBDPS researchers study information from babies born between 1997 and 2011. Over the course of 14 years of interviews, 43,000 women from 10 states took part in the study. Interviewing mothers of babies in the study stopped in March 2013, but researchers will continue to analyze this rich source of information on birth defects. NBDPS has made key contributions toward understanding the risk of having a baby with a birth defect when specific medications are used just before and during pregnancy. Data from NBDPS have demonstrated that mothers who are obese have a much higher risk for having a baby with a number of different major birth defects. The study has also confirmed results from previous studies that found that women who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy have a higher risk of having a baby with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. Understanding the risks and causes of birth defects can help us prevent them. This study provides important clues to help us in our journey to ensure that every child is born in the best possible health.


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