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October 2, 1967

Congenital Abnormalities Following Gestational Rubella in Chinese: Report of a Prospective Study Including Five-Year Follow-Up Examinations After the 1957-1958 Rubella Epidemic on Taiwan (Formosa)

Author Affiliations

From the US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, Taipei, Taiwan; the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; and the National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Republic of China. Dr. Peng is now at the Center for Population Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1967;202(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130140059006

Taiwan (Formosa), after 14 years without rubella, had a large island-wide outbreak in 1957 through 1958 involving an estimated 1 million cases. One hundred and seventeen pregnant women who suffered rubella were indentified while still pregnant and the results of their pregnancies were followed-up for five years. Of 35 pregnancies in women with rubella during the first trimester, four ended in spontaneous abortion, two in stillbirth, and three in neonatal death. Ten of the live-born children (including one that died during the neonatal period) had congenital abnormalities. Six deaths were of functional significance. The ear was involved in five, the eyes in five, the heart in four, and subnormal intelligence was demonstrated in four. The risk of a tragic outcome attributable to rubella in pregnant women was about 25%. This study, to our knowledge the first reported in an Oriental population, has given results similar to prospective studies in white women.