Educational achievement of children with selected major congenital anomalies and associated factors: a Finnish registry-based study

Zahra Roustaei, Anna Heino, Sonja Kiuru-Kuhlefelt, Joan K Morris, Svetlana V Glinianaia, Ester Garne, Maria Loane, Judith Rankin, Mika Gissler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children with major congenital anomalies may be at risk of poor educational outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the educational achievement of children born with major congenital anomalies compared to children without major congenital anomalies in relation to sociodemographic factors.

We performed a registry-based study including 401,544 children in Finland, graduates of the compulsory school who applied to secondary education. We used health data from the Finnish Register of Congenital Malformations for children born from 1995 to 2002 linked with education data from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. We used generalised linear regression to compare the mean grade differences of children with specific major congenital anomalies and ‘All anomalies’ subgroup (major congenital anomalies, chromosomal syndromes, and multiple anomalies) with reference children.

Children with major congenital anomalies were less likely to apply for further education than reference children (88.0% vs 96.8%; OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 3.92-4.36). For most non-chromosomal congenital anomalies, children born with congenital anomalies had similar educational achievement to the reference children. For the ‘All anomalies’ subgroup, children with congenital anomalies had lower educational achievement than reference children. Among children with congenital anomalies, male sex, lower maternal educational levels, and younger maternal age were associated with lower educational achievement.

For children applying to further education, most non-chromosomal congenital anomalies were not associated with lower educational achievement. Nevertheless, efforts are needed to improve educational achievement in children with major congenital anomalies associated with maternal sociodemographic background.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Early online date18 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association.


  • Major congenital anomaly
  • Educational achievement
  • Sociodemographic factor
  • Registry-based study


Dive into the research topics of 'Educational achievement of children with selected major congenital anomalies and associated factors: a Finnish registry-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this