Some birth defects can impede normal development in the infant and lead to preterm birth. For example, if an infant develops problems like transposition of the heart's great arteries or spina bifida (open spine) -- a condition in which the neural tube fails to close properly -- doctors may need to perform surgery while the baby is still in the womb, which raises the risk of preterm birth.
A recent study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that the birth defects most commonly associated with preterm delivery include:
- Down syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- Patau syndrome
- Edwards syndrome
- Congenital structural abnormalities, including orofacial cleft, club foot,
- polydactyly, hypospadias, and spina bifida
- Cardiac, central nervous system, musculoskeletal abnormalities
Did You Know?
Heart defects are the most common of all birth defects, affecting one in every 100 to 200 pregnancies. Defects of the palate and lip -- cleft lip and cleft palate -- are next, followed by defects of the spine and brain and Down syndrome, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).