Journal Club: A national estimate of the birth prevalence of congenital anomalies in India: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Citation: Bhide P, Kar A, BMC Pediatr. 2018 May 25;18(1):175. doi: 10.1186/s12887-018-1149-0. BACKGROUND: A quarter of all global neonatal deaths occur in India. Congenital anomalies constitute the fifth largest cause of neonatal mortality in the country, but national estimates of the prevalence of these conditions are lacking. The objective of the study was to derive an estimate of the birth prevalence of congenital anomalies in India. METHODS: The search was carried out in PubMed and pooled prevalence was estimated using the inverse variance method. A random effects model was used due to high heterogeneity between the studies. Forest plots were generated using the Review Manager software. RESULTS: The PubMed search identified 878 articles from which 52 hospital based and three community based studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of congenital anomaly affected births was 184.48 per 10,000 births (95% CI 164.74-204.21) among 802,658 births. Anomalies of the musculoskeletal system were highest among live births while the prevalence of central nervous system defects was highest when stillbirths were included in the analysis. Anencephaly and talipes were the most commonly reported anomalies. CONCLUSIONS: Data from this meta-analysis suggests that there may be as many as 472,177 (421,652 to 522,676) congenital anomaly affected births in India each year. Population based studies using standard definitions are needed to validate these estimates. The two most frequently reported anomalies were anencephaly that is potentially preventable through preconception folate supplementation, and talipes which can be corrected using relatively low cost interventions. Studies are needed to determine the impact of congenital anomalies on neonatal mortality in India. DOI: 10.1186/s12887-018-1149-0 PMCID: PMC5970488 PMID: 29801440 READ COMPLETE ARTICLE AT https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12887-018-1149-0