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What are some common birth defects?

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Quick Answer

Common birth defects include spina bifida, clubfoot, Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis, notes Healthline. These conditions may occur when a body part forms incorrectly, called structural defects, or due to abnormalities in a child’s chromosomes or genes, called metabolic defects.

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Spina bifida is a condition in which the bones of the spine form improperly, and is common to a child born of a diabetic or obese mother, states WebMD. The mild form normally causes no problems, and most people realize they have this condition during a back X-ray.

Spina bifida is a condition characterized by unusual positions of the foot and is mostly present at birth, reports WebMD. Experts do not completely understand the genetic and environmental causes of this condition, but it can occur from the position of the fetus in the womb.

Down syndrome occurs from abnormal cell division, causing developmental delays and lifelong intellectual disability, explains Mayo Clinic. This condition can cause learning disabilities in children, but early treatments can help the patients to lead better lives.

Cystic fibrosis is a condition that affects the cells that produce sweat, digestive juices and mucus, causing severe damage to the digestive system and the lungs, notes Mayo Clinic. Secretions become thick and sticky, plugging the passageways and ducts in the pancreas and lungs.

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