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A physician should be able to distinguish between genetic and non-genetic congenital disorders, and also recognize genetic diseases presenting later in childhood. A genetic disorder, a condition caused by abnormal genes or chromosomes, should be contrasted with a congenital malformation, one which is apparent at birth and not known to be related to any specific genetic abnormality. Genetic abnormalities may produce congenital malformations, metabolic disturbances, specific organ dysfunction and abnormalities of sexual differentiation. Growth and development may be adversely affected by both genetic disorders and congenital malformations.
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