While congenital defects and infections contribute to early deaths of those with microcephaly, many live an average life span, according to Health Central. The Cleveland Clinic also reports a lower life expectancy, but does not indicate a significant adjustment to average life spans.
While microcephaly may not be a death sentence for an infant or small child, it often leads to serious health challenges. Eighty-five percent of those afflicted have some level of mental retardation or brain damage, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Convulsions and limited physical coordination are also common. People with microcephaly also commonly need mental health care to cope with self-esteem challenges due to abnormal physical traits.