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Birth Defects

For questions about this data, send email to or call (512) 776-7232

Data Source

Birth Defects Epidemiology & Surveillance (BDES)

Data Description

Birth defects data are from the Texas Birth Defects Registry, which uses active surveillance to collect information about infants and fetuses with birth defects born to women residing in Texas. Data for years prior to 1999 are not included here, but can be obtained by contacting the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch.

Data are presented for selected birth defect categories, which now include severe microcephaly, plus a category labeled "infants and fetuses with regular reportable birth defects." Severe microcephaly is defined as a diagnosis of microcephaly, small head, or small brain, plus a head circumference measurement at birth that is less than the 3rd percentile for sex and gestational age. Birth defects are grouped by body system. A glossary of birth defect terms provides more information about particular defects.

Using Statewide, Border or Regional data, you can create tables of birth defects by year, maternal age group, maternal race-ethnicity, and infant sex. Additionally, these data tables can be restricted to a particular age group, race-ethnic group, and sex. For County data, tables of birth defects can be produced by year and geographic area only, to protect confidentiality.

Measure Information

Additional Information

Birth Defects website

Glossary of birth defect terms

If you need information about birth defects that is not available here, please contact the Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch at 512-776-7232 or Additional information can also be found on the Birth Defects website.