Iranian Journal of Public Health 2017. 46(6):733-743.

Prevalence of Congenital Anomalies in Iran: A Review Article


Background: Congenital anomalies are considered as main causes of disability and mortality among children in developing and developed countries. Expenditures of hospitalization and treatment procedures for these children impose a large burden on health system and their families. This study aimed to review the prevalence of congenital anomalies among infants in Iran.

Methods: The review of studies was conducted through searching databases including IranMedex, SID, Magiran, Scopus, and PubMed. Descriptive and cross-sectional studies investigating on the prevalence of congenital anomalies among infants were included into the study. Hand search for some related journals and websites was done. The list of studies' references was reviewed. The data were analyzed using the CMA 2 software.

Results: Of 455 studies, 27 studies were included into the meta-analysis study. The studies were conducted between 1992 and 2014.The overall prevalence of congenital anomalies among infants was estimated to be 2.3%. The overall prevalence rates, in terms of gender, were estimated to be 3% in boys and 2% in girls. While the highest prevalence rates were related to musculoskeletal anomalies (27.5%), skin anomalies (19.7%) and genitourinary system anomalies (15.8%), the lowest prevalence rate was related to respiratory system (1.82%)

Conclusion: The prevalence of congenital anomalies among infants in Iran is high. In order to reduce the rates of these anomalies and complications resulted from them, coping and preventive strategies such as the necessity of genetic counseling particularly in consanguineous marriages seem to be appropriate solutions.




Congenital anomalies, Meta-analysis, Prevalence, Iran

Full Text:



Sarrafan N, Mahdi-nasab A, Arastoo L (2011). Evaluation of prevalance of congenital upper and lower extremity abnormalies in neonatal live births in Imam and Razi hospital of Ahvaz . Jundishapur Sci Med J, 10 (70): 13-19.

Aghajani H, Samavat A, Haghazali M, Valizadeh F, Sarbazi G (2009). Primary health care: an approach to community control of genetic and congenital disorders. Iran J Public Health, 38(Suppl.1): 113-4.

Alijahan R, Mirzarahimi M, Ahmadi-Hadi P, Hazrati S (2013). Prevalence of Congenital Abnormalities and Its Related Risk Factors in Ardabil, Iran, 2011. Iran J Obstet Gynecol Infertil, 16 (54): 16-25.

Farhud D, Walizadeh GR, Kamali MS (1986). Congenital malformations and genetic diseases in Iranian infants. Hum Genet, 74 (4): 382-5.

Jalali S, Fakhraie S, Afjaei S, Kazemian M (2011). The incidence of obvious congenital abnormalities among the neonates born in rasht hospitals in 2011. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci, 19 (2): 109-7.

Hematyar M, Khajoi P (2005). Prevalence of congenital anomalies in 1000 live births in Javaheri Hospital, Tehran, 2004. Med Sci J Islamic Azad Univ, 15 (2): 75-8.

Rahnama F, Akbarzadeh R, Hasehmiyan M, Akabari A (2008). The Incidence of Apparent Congenital Anomalies in Neonates in Mobini Maternity Hospital in Sabzevar Iran in 2005-6. J Sabzevar Univ Med Sci, 15 (4): 231-6.

Farhud D, Walizadeh G, Farhud I (1989). Oto-palato-digital syndrome in an Iranian infant. Monatsschr Kinderheilkd, 137 (10): 681-3.

Shahnazi M, Azari S (2010). Contributing factors in major malformations in neonatals born in alzahra medical-educational hospital, tabriz. J Caring Sci, 5 (18): 49-56.

Golalipour MJ, Ahmadpour-Kacho M,Vakili MA (2005). Congenital malformations at a referral hospital in Gorgan, Islamic Republic of Iran. East Mediterr Health J, 11 (4): 707-15.

Mohseni M, Alikhani M, Tourani S, et al (2015). Rate and Causes of Discharge against Medical Advice in Iranian Hospitals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Public Health, 44 (7): 902-12.

von Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, et al. (2007). Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies. BMJ, 335 (7624): 806-8.

Marzban A, Sadegh-zadeh M, Mosavi-nasab N (2001). Incidence of gross congenital anomalies in newborns in Zanjan Vali-e Asr Hospital. J Zanjan Univ Med Sci, 9(37): 33-8.

Masoodpoor N, Arab-Baniasad F, Jafari A (2008). Prevalence and pattern of congenital malformations in newborn in rafsanjan,iran (2007-8). J Gorgan Univ Med Sci, 15 (3): 114-7.

Sheikha-Salim A (1995). Epidemiology of congenital abnormalities in Bahrain.

Gheshmi AN, Nikuei P, Khezri M et al (2012). The frequency of congenital anomalies in newborns in two maternity hospitals in bandar abbas: 2007-2008. Genet 3rd Millennium, 9 (4): 2554-9.

Ndibazza J, Lule S, Nampijja M, et al (2011). A description of congenital anomalies among infants in Entebbe, Uganda. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol, 91 (9): 857-61.

Temtamy S (1998). A genetic epidemiological study of malformations at birth in Egypt.

Nazer HJ, Cifuentes OL (2011). Congenital malformations in Latin Americain theperiod 1995-2008. RevMed Chil, 139 (1): 72-8.

Dolk H, Loane M, Garne E (2010). The prevalence of congenital abnormalities in Europe. Adv Exp Med Biol, 686: 349-64.

Dutta V, Chaturvedi P (2000). Congenital malformations in rural Maharashtra. Indian Pediatr, 37(9): 998-1001.

Ronya R, Gupta D, Ghosh S, Narang R, Jain K (2002). Spectrum of congenital surgical malformations in newborns. J Indian Med Assoc, 100 (9): 565-6.

Oztarhan K, Gedikbasi A, Yildirim D, et al (2010). Prevalence and distribution of congenital abnormalities in Turkey:differences between the prenataland postnatal periods. Congenit Anom (Kyoto), 50 (4): 221-5.

Bittar Z (1998). Majorcongenital malformations presenting in the first 24 hours of life in3865 consecutive births in south of Beirut. Incidence and pattern. J Med Liban, 46 (5): 256-60.

Cheng N, Bai Y, Hu X, et al (2003). Abase-line survey on birth defects in Gansu Province, West China. Ann Trop Paediatr, 23 (1): 25-9.

Farhud D (1997). Evidence For a New AD Syndrome: Report of a Large Iranian Sibship with Severe Multiple Synostosis. Iran J Public Health, 26(1-2): 39-44.

Farhud D, Hadavi V, Sadighi H (2000). Epidemiology of neural tube defects in the world and Iran. Iran J Public Health, 29(1-4): 83-90.

Afshar M, Golalipour MJ, Farhud D (2006). Epidemiologic aspects of neural tube defects in South East Iran. Neurosciences (Riyadh), 11(4): 289-92.

Sipek A, Velebil P, Mastova D (2000). Occurrence of congenital defects in the Czech Republic from 1996 to 1999 in the offspring of mothers taking medication during the 1st trimester of pregnancy (Abstract). Ceska Gynekol, 56 (1): 14-8.

Evans PR, Polani N (1980). Congenital malformation in a post-mortem series (Abstract). Teratology, 22 (2): 207-16.

Shajari H, Mohammadi N, Karbalai M (2006). Prevalence of congenital malformations observed in neonates in Shariati Hospital (2001-2004). Iran J Pediatr, 16 (3): 308-12.

Hosseini S, Nikravesh A, Hashemi Z, Rakhshi N (2014). Race of apparent abnormalities in neonates born in Amiralmomenin hospital of Sistan. J North Khorasan Univ Med Sci, 6 (3): 573-9.

Ahmadi M,Shah-Mohammadi F (1997). Statistical investigation of the gross congenital anomalies in alive newborns in Taleghani hospital, Arak. J Arak Univ Med Sci, 1 (4): 23-9.

Khosravi S (2000). Determine the prevalence of congenital malformations in newborns in Taleghani and Ghods hospitals in Arak. J Arak Univ Med Sci, 4 (1): 5-9.

Zamani A, Amini E, Kaveh M, Aminzadeh V (2000). Prevalence of congenital malformations in infants born in Imam Khomeini and Shariati hospital. Sci J Forensic Med, 6(20): 19-25.

Hajian K, Sharifi F, Sharifzadeh-Baii M, Shareapour M (2005). Prevalence of major abnormality and some of its related factors in the newborns in Shahid yahyanejad hospital in Babol(2001). Med J Guilan Univ Med Sci, 14 (55): 70-5.

Ketabchi E, Ghodsi M, Nejat F (2000). Determine the characteristic abnormalities of the nervous system in newborns delivery centers in Tehran. J Med Counc I.R. Iran, 18 (4): 81-277.

Shokoohi M, Mani-kashani K (2002). Prevalance of obvious congenital anomalies and some related factors in newborns in Fatemieh hospital of Hamedan during march to september 1999. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci, 12 (35): 42-47.

Kavianyn N, Mirfazeli A, Aryaie M, Hosseinpour K, Golalipour M (2015). Incidence of birth defects in Golestan province. J Gorgan Univ Med Sci, 17(4): 73-77

Ebrahimi S (1999). Birth defects: Prevalence and associated factors. Armaghane-danesh, 4(13-14): 9-15.

Abdi-Rad I, Khoshkalam M, FarrokhIslamlou H (2008). The prevalence at birth of overt congenital anomalies in Urmia, Northwestern Iran. Arch Iran Med, 11 (2): 148-51.

Tootoonchi P (2003). Easily Identifiable Congenital Anomalies: prevalence and risk factors. Acta Med Iran, 41(1): 15-9.

Akhavan-Karbasi S, Golestan M, Fallah R, et al (2009). Prevalence of congenital malformations. Acta Med Iran, 47 (2): 53-149.

Pouladfar GH.R, Malahzadeh A.R (2005). The prevalence of minor congenital anomalies and normal variations in neonates in Bushehr port. Iran South Med J, 8 (1): 43-52.

Tayebi N, Yazdani K, Naghshin N (2010). The prevalence of congenital malformations and its correlation with consanguineous marriages. Oman Med J, 25 (1): 37-40.

Ahmadzadeh A, Safikhani Z, Abdulahi M, Ahmadzadeh A (2008). Congenital malformations among live births at Arvand hospital, Ahvaz, Iran - a prospective study. Pak J Med Sci, 24 (1): 37-33.

Dastgiri S, Imani S, Kalankesh L, Barzegar M, Heidarzadeh M (2007). Congenital anomalies in Iran: a cross-sectional study on 1574 cases in the North-West of country. Child Care Health Dev, 33 (3): 257-61.

Khoshhal-Rahdar F, Saadati H, Mohammadian M, et al (2014). The prevalence of congenital malformations in Dezful 2012. [Research]. Genet 3rd Millennium, 12 (3): 3622-31.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.