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Congenital Diseases - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

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Prof. Dr. Zamir A...

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Experience: 35 years

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Experience: 12 years

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Experience: 20 years

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Summary about Congenital Diseases

A congenital disorder is a condition that affects people from the moment they are born. Congenital disorders can be passed down through the generations or brought on by environmental factors. Their effect on a child's health and development isn't always severe, and it can be quite mild in some cases. However, a child having a congenital disorder may face a disability or some health problems throughout life.

Causes of Congenital Diseases

  • Genes play a significant role in many congenital anomalies.
  • In resource-constrained countries and families, congenital anomalies may be indirectly influenced by low income.
  • When a pregnant woman uses certain pesticides and other chemicals, takes certain medications, drinks alcohol, smokes tobacco, or is exposed to radiation, her fetus is more likely to be born with congenital disabilities.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, maternal infections such as rubella and syphilis are a significant cause of congenital anomalies. Moreover, the Zika virus can cause microcephaly in an unborn child and other congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus.
  • If a mother is insufficient in folate, she increases her baby's risk of having a neural tube defect. At the same time, excessive intake of vitamin A may negatively affect the development of an embryo or fetus.

Preventive Measures of Congenital Diseases

Congenital diseases can be prevented by:

  • Making sure young girls and mothers consume a variety of fruits and vegetables while maintaining a healthy weight
  • Ensuring mothers avoid harmful substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.
  • Making sure that adolescents and mothers consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid
  • Avoiding travel by pregnant women (and sometimes those of childbearing age) to areas where infections are causing congenital anomalies
  • Limiting or eliminating exposure to hazardous substances (such as pesticides or heavy metals) during pregnancy
  • Controlling diabetes before and during pregnancy through weight management, counseling, diet, and insulin administration if necessary
  • weighing the risks and benefits of any exposure to medications or medical radiation (such as imaging rays) for pregnant women carefully
  • vaccination, particularly against the rubella virus for kids and females
  • Enhancing and strengthening the education of health practitioners and those involved in promoting the prevention of congenital disabilities
  • Screening for infections, such as varicella, rubella, and syphilis, and considering possible treatments.


  • Several structural congenital disabilities are corrected through pediatric surgery.

Specific congenital disabilities can be treated through:

  • Gene therapy
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Some congenital disabilities can be detected and treated before the child is born. For example, prenatal surgery can treat babies with rare lung tumors and urinary tract obstructions.

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