Some 13 percent of couples undergoing free pre-pregnancy checkups in Shanghai in the first eight months of the year were found to have high risk conditions.
However, this is down from 2012 figure, when serious conditions were detected among 20 percent of couples tested.
Between January and August, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission provided free pre-pregnancy examinations to 20,605 couples planning to have children.
Of these, 2,678 couples were found to have high risk conditions that could affect a safe pregnancy and a baby’s health
The commission did not detail conditions, but last year they included gynecological problems, liver and kidney disorders, hepatitis and syphilis.
Those affected received help, said the commission.
Since China removed compulsory premarital health checks for couples in 2003, the incidence of congenital deformities has risen. In Shanghai, the level increased from 9.8 per thousand in 2008 to 11.71 per thousand last year.
Last year, some 25,000 couples underwent the free checkups. About 6 percent were diagnosed with liver or kidney disorders and 11.5 percent had abnormal antibody to hepatitis B. Some also had syphilis.