Objectives To study epidemiology of mental handicap within 5 years in regard to sex, age of diagnosis, parents consanguinity, family history, degree of retardation, factors affecting patient's mother during pregnancy and delivery, affecting the patients during infancy and childhood, and the definite diagnosis.
Methods Retrospective study, data were drawn from records of 573 patients for 5 years, 261 from IRH and 312 from five institutions for handicapped.
Results Male/female: 2.1/1. 55.9% from IRH were diagnosed at age <6 years. 36.5% mildly retarded, 49.4% moderate, and 14.1% severely retarded. 52.5% was the rate of consanguinity among the patient's parents. 33.3% had a positive family history. 15.7% of their mothers had disease or trauma during pregnancy, 10.7% had difficult, forceps or C.S delivery. 24.1% had infectious disease during infancy or early childhood, 18.2% had convulsions, 8.9% jaundice, and 7% trauma. Those with definite diagnosis (27.2%), 8.6% have mongolism, 7% post traumatic, 5.8% brain damage, and 2.8% had microcephaly, the remaining phenylketone urea, cretinism and cerebral palsy.
Conclusions There were predisposing factors promoting retardation in males, which suggested genetic influence. Only 55.9% were diagnosed in pre-school age. The high consanguinity of parents indicated the genetic factors operating on aetiology, still 47.5% had no family history which indicated the influence of specific environmental factors. Many of the diseases or complications during pregnancy, infancy and childhood were preventable or can be controlled. Mongolism had prevalence similar to other countries, so no racial difference. Most of patients was classified moderate retardation.
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