Prevalent Congenital Anomalies and Metabolic Disorders among Live-Born Neonates in Hospitals in General Santos City, Philippines (2009-2012)

Florence L. Zapico,1 Adrian T. Penaflorida,2 Catherine Hazel M. Aguilar3 and
Eillen Gay I. Palarpalar4

1Science Department, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics,
Mindanao State University-General Santos City, Philippines
2College of Medicine, Davao Medical School Foundation Inc., Davao City, Philippines
3Graduate School, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
4General Santos City District Hospital, General Santos City, Philippines


Objective. Birth defects are among the leading causes of infant mortality and morbidity in the Philippines. While affected infants make up a sizeable portion of live births in General Santos City (GSC), no information is available about their actual numbers. This study aims to fill the knowledge gap about the prevalence and nature of congenital anomalies (CAs) and congenital metabolic disorders (CMDs) in the city from 2009 to 2012.

Methods. A restrospective study of in-patient records from six (6) medical facilities was done for CA/CMD cases from 2009-2012. Among the CMDs tested were congenital hypothyroidism (CH), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), galactosemia (GAL), hyperphenyalaninemia (HPA), phenylketonuria (PKU) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD def).

Results. Collected data revealed 109 cases of CAs with limb deformities, oro-facial clefting and neural tube disorders comprising majority of cases. There were 878 reported cases of CMDs with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD def) as the most prevalent at 829 cases. There was also a preponderance of CAs/CMDs in a government hospital for the indigent.

Conclusions. These results underscore the emergence of CAs and CMDs as a major health problem among newborns in GSC. Higher incidences of birth defects in one district hospital also reveal a tentative link between CA/CMD incidence and socio-economic status. It is of paramount importance therefore, to undertake expansion of the newborn screening program and to establish local birth registries so that a more comprehensive and realistic picture of CA/CMD prevalence in the city will be obtained.

Key Words: congenital anomalies, congenital metabolic disorders, live-born neonates