Serious Birth Defect Gastroschisis Is On The Rise In US, Reports CDC

Posted: Jan 24 2016, 4:11pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Serious Birth Defect Gastroschisis Is on the Rise in US, Reprots CDC
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The number of babies born with organs outside their body has nearly doubled over the past 18 years.

An increasing number of babies are being born with a serious and potentially life-threatening birth defect known as gastroschisis. The condition causes intestines or sometimes organs like the liver or stomach to grow outside the body, alongside the belly button.

According to latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the number of babies born with the birth defect has nearly doubled over the past 18 years.

The CDC examined the birth data in 14 states between 1995 and 2012 and found that the birth defect continued to increase in babies with every year gone by irrespective of the race and age group their mothers belong to. 

The defect was mostly prevalent in the babies born to young under 21 years of age, non-Hispanic black mothers, where up to 263 percent increase has been observed in gastrochisis cases. And scientists have no clues on why it has been happening. 

“It concerns us that we don’t know why more babies are being born with this serious birth defect. Public health research is urgently needed to figure out the cause and why certain women are at high risk of having a baby born with gastrochisis.” Caleen Boyle, director of CDC’s center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities said in a statement.

The causes of the defect are still unknown but researchers suspect that it can be genetic or may be caused by mother’s exposure to toxin during pregnancy. Mother’s poor diet and excessive or wrong use of medicines, can also influence the development of weak abdominal wall in babies.

Babies born with the defect have a hole beside the belly button, causing internal organs to poke through the newborn’s abdomen. Every year, around 2,000 babies are born with the defect and it often requires an immediate surgery to repair it. 

While surgery often results in full recovery but sometimes the birth defect can be life-threatening and leaves a kid facing a lifetime of challenges with digestion and feeding and even with absorbing nutrients. 


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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