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Rethinking Levels of Measurement for Cartography”. Cartography and Geographic Information Science

Birth Defects (BD) continue to be one of the leading causes of death in infants less than one year old nationally and in Tennessee, with 645 deaths in Tennessee between 2005- 2009 related to birth defects. Although not all birth defects result in death, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an infant is born every four and half minutes with a birth defect with hospital costs that may exceed 2.5 billion dollars. This BD report is a statewide population‐based report produced by the Tennessee Birth Defects Registry (TBDR) detailing the birth prevalence of 45 major birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome for Tennessee infants born in the years 2005 through 2009. Sections in this report detail counts and rates presented by infant gender, race/ethnicity, perinatal region, age of mother, education of mother, maternal county of residence, and maternal diabetes. The two most common reported birth defects overall were members of the cardiovascular group: 1) atrial septal defect ((ASD), a hole or opening in the upper chambers of the heart)) and 2) patent ductus arteriosus ((PDA), an opening that failed to close from fetal circulation)). • Prevention is the best option for minimizing the occurrence of birth defects. This report concludes with a section on birth defects prevention. Some examples include: o Intake of folic acid (a B-vitamin) supplements by women of childbearing age has been shown to reduce neural tube defects (like spina bifida) by at least 50 percent. Pediatrics Vol. 104 No. 2 August 1, 1999 pp. 325 -327 o Making healthy living choices remain the most effective way to reduce the risk of birth defects.