Skip Navigation
Michigan Department of Community HealthMichigan.gov, Official Website for the State of Michigan
Michigan.gov Home
close print view

National Birth Defects Prevention Month Reinforces the Need to Improve Infant Mortality

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2012

LANSING - As January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to increase awareness of birth defects and help healthcare professionals and Michigan families take positive steps to reduce their risks.

"Michigan continues to struggle with our infant mortality rate, and birth defects are a top concern when it comes to working towards improvement," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "By addressing the risks and offering support to families affected by birth defects, we can improve the infant mortality rate in Michigan and ultimately, improve our future."

Congenital heart defects are one of the most common types of birth defects, affecting one out of every 100 babies. However, healthy lifestyle choices and medical interventions before and during pregnancy may decrease risks. MDCH also offers support to families who are dealing with the realities of a child born with one of these conditions.

Congenital heart defects are abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth. Some have only a minor and brief effect on a baby's health and some have very serious or life-long effects, such as early death. Nearly 40,000 cases are reported annually in the U.S., with about 1,000 cases occurring in Michigan. Public awareness, accurate diagnosis, and expert medical care are all essential for adequate prevention and management of these all too common and deadly conditions.

"The heart forms in the early weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman realizes she is pregnant. Diet, life-style choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications all can play a role in preventing or causing congenital heart defects," said Joan Ehrhardt, Birth Defects Program Coordinator at MDCH. "Small steps like visiting a healthcare provider before pregnancy and taking a multivitamin every day can go a long way."

MDCH, in partnership with the NBDPN, is working with healthcare professionals and public health agencies to encourage prevention and awareness of congenital heart defects among the more than 1.75 million women of childbearing age in Michigan and across the nation.

"Through our combined efforts across the country, and specifically in Michigan, we can reach millions of women and their families with vital information to decrease their risks and improve the future for our children," Dazzo said.

To learn more about birth defects, visit www.migeneticsconnection.org or contact BDRFollowup@michigan.gov.

###
Related Content
 •  MDCH Reminds Residents to Be Prepared as Winter Approaches, Announces Recipe Challenge Winners
 •  Adamczyk Appointed as Director of the Office of Health Services Inspector General
 •  City of Midland Recognized as a "Community for a Lifetime"
 •  When it Comes to Diabetes, Family Support is Essential to Staying Healthy
 •  New Worksite Wellness Platform Available to Promote Healthier Work Environments
 •  Michigan Launches New Program to Recognize Schools Prepared for Cardiac Emergencies
 •  Small Turtles Banned For Sale as Pets, Pose Salmonella Risk
 •  State Launches Campaign to Thank Caregivers
 •  Three Michigan State Hospitals Recognized as 'Top Performer on Key Quality Measures' by The Joint Commission
 •  Michigan Receives Grant to Provide Substance Abuse, Mental Health Services to Homeless
 •  Michigan Receives $14.4 Million for Home Visiting Program
 •  Michigan Laboratory Recieves Contract to Investigate Tuberculosis Nationwide
 •  MDCH Invites Public to Provide Feedback for Public Health Code Review
 •  MDCH Confirms First Influenza Cases of the 2013-14 Flu Season
 •  Michigan Residents, Physicians Reminded to Take Simple Steps to Prevent Infection
 •  MDCH, MOA, and MSMS Urge Residents to Get Vaccinated Against Pneumococcal and Influenza Diseases
 •  MDCH Hosting Conference to Address Prediabetes Epidemic in Michigan
 •  Early Detection is Key to Breast Cancer Survival: Screening Can Save Lives
 •  Michigan Tobacco Quitline Celebrates 10 Years, 50,000 Enrollees
 •  Michigan Launches New Infant Mortality Website
QR code

Michigan.gov Home
PoliciesMichigan NewsMichigan.gov Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan