Study Shows More Birth Defects in Corpus Christi Area

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A study finds that babies born in the Corpus Christi area are more likely to have birth defects than those born in other parts of the state.

The newly released study by the Texas Department of State Health Services analyzed six years of data from a registry of birth defects.

It found that Corpus Christi babies were 17 percent more likely to have a severe birth defect. They're also nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with any birth defect.

A second phase of the study will examine where mothers lived in relation to potentially hazardous sites.

Concerned residents had requested the study. State officials hope to determine if there's a link between birth defects and environmental hazards such as refineries and landfills in Nueces County.

The study analyzed 170 potentially severe birth defects that occurred between 1996 and 2002. Sixteen types of defects were found at a rate 50 percent or greater than the state average.