Posts Tagged ‘
birth defects ’
Monday, May 7th, 2012
A new study conducted by researchers in Australia is investigating the question of whether women who experience infertility and undergo medical treatments to become pregnant face a higher rate of birth defects–and if so, whether the heightened risk is due to the drugs used during treatment or because of the underlying causes of the infertility itself. ABCNews.com has more:
Australian researchers looked at medical records nearly 300,000 babies born in Australia — more than 4,000 of whom were conceived through an assisted fertility method — to see if babies born using the various assisting methods were more likely to have birth defects than babies who were conceived naturally.
Eight percent of the babies conceived through assistance were born with birth defects such as heart, genital, kidney, lung and muscle problems, compared to nearly 6 percent of babies who were conceived naturally, the study found. Those conceived through fertility assistance were also more likely to have cerebral palsy.
The study found that the most elevated risk was in patients who had a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a single sperm is injected into an egg. In vitro fertilization (IVF) patients did not appear to have an elevated risk.
“The fact that the patient has had a problem getting pregnant only slightly increases the risk to having a healthy pregnancy, but going through IVF isn’t going to raise that risk any further,” Dr. James Goldfarb, director of the Fertility Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland told ABC.
Image: Embryology lab, via Shutterstock.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
More than half of all low-cost jewelry on the market in the U.S.–including jewelry intended for children–contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals, a new study by the Michigan-based Ecology Center has found. The study found lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, bromine, and chlorine (PVC) in the jewelry they analyzed. These substances have been linked in animal and some human studies to acute allergies as well as long-term health impacts such as birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer.
“Toxic jewelry is a symptom of the complete failure of our federal chemical regulatory system,” said Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, in a statement. ”Our children will never be safe until we reform our chemical laws to ensure products are safe before they arrive on store shelves.”
Visit HealthyStuff.org for a more detailed report on which chemicals were most often found in low-cost jewelry.
Image: Child’s bracelet, via Shutterstock.
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Smoking has long been documented as heightening the risks of infertility, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But new research is linking smoking with additional, serious birth defects including heart defects, missing or deformed limbs, gastrointestinal disorders and facial disorders, as well as increasing the odds of emotional and behavioral disorders by as much as 50 percent.
The study, which was published in the Human Reproduction Update journal, reviewed over 100 research studies conducted from 1959 and 2010. According to CNN.com, the following defects were found to occur in higher rates among the babies of smokers.
- heart defects
- limb reduction defects—the absence of severe underdevelopment of the hands, feet, radius, tibia, ulna or fibula digit anomalies—missing, fused or extra fingers or toes
- cleft lip or palate
- eye defects
- gastrointestinal defects like gastroschisis, anal atresia, and umbilical/inguinal/ventral hernias
Additionally, the review found evidence that women who smoke are more likely to have a baby with two or more defects.
Although the review included a few surprises about the possible benefits of smoking, for example a reduced risk of skin defects like pigmentation disorders and moles, Dr. [Michael] Katz [of the March of Dimes] told CNN that the “overwhelming trend is that [smoking] is harmful,” and the takeaway message is that, “Any woman who is pregnant and smokes endangers not only herself, but her unborn child.”