Birth Defects and Genetic Disorders Among Arab Americans—Michigan, 1992–2003
Yanni, Emad A.;
Olney, Richard S.
Birth defects and genetic disorders are leading causes of infant morbidity and mortality in many countries. Population-based data on birth defects among Arab-American children have not been documented previously. Michigan has the second largest Arab-American community in the United States after California. Using data from the Michigan Birth Defects Registry (MBDR), which includes information on parents' country of birth and ancestry, birth prevalences were estimated in offspring of Michigan women of Arab ancestry for 21 major categories of birth defects and 12 congenital endocrine, metabolic, and hereditary disorders. Compared with other non-Hispanic white children in Michigan, Arab-American children had similar or lower birth prevalences of the selected types of structural birth defects, with higher rates of certain hereditary blood disorders and three categories of metabolic disorders. These estimates are important for planning preconception and antenatal health care, genetic counseling, and clinical care for Arab Americans.