birth defects


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Related to birth defects: anencephaly, Down syndrome, spina bifida

birth defects,

abnormalities in physical or mental structure or function that are present at birth. They range from minor to seriously deforming or life-threatening. A major defect of some type occurs in approximately 3% of all births. Defects may be genetic in origin, as in Down syndromeDown syndrome,
congenital disorder characterized by mild to severe mental retardation, slow physical development, and characteristic physical features. Down syndrome affects about 1 in every 730 live births and occurs in all populations equally.
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, Tay-Sachs diseaseTay-Sachs disease
, rare hereditary disease caused by a genetic mutation that leaves the body unable to produce an enzyme necessary for fat metabolism in nerve cells, producing central nervous system degeneration.
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, sickle cell diseasesickle cell disease
or sickle cell anemia,
inherited disorder of the blood in which the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin pigment in erythrocytes (red blood cells) is abnormal.
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, and hemophiliahemophilia
, genetic disease in which the clotting ability of the blood is impaired and excessive bleeding results. The disease is transmitted through females but almost invariably affects male offspring only.
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, or may be the result of infections, such as rubellarubella
or German measles,
acute infectious disease of children and young adults. It is caused by a filterable virus that is spread by droplet spray from the respiratory tract of an infected individual.
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 and sexually transmitted diseasessexually transmitted disease
(STD) or venereal disease,
term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, and
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. Other teratogenic (malformation-causing) agents include drugs or hormones taken by the mother (e.g., thalidomidethalidomide
, sleep-inducing drug found to produce skeletal defects in developing fetuses. The drug was marketed in Europe, especially in West Germany and Britain, from 1957 to 1961, and was thought to be so safe that it was sold without prescription.
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 and DESDES
or diethylstilbestrol
, synthetic nonsteroid female sex hormone having the same physiological effects as estrogen. In the 1940s and 50s DES was mistakenly believed to reduce the risk of miscarriage and was routinely prescribed for pregnant women believed to be at
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) and maternal illnesses (e.g., diabetesdiabetes
or diabetes mellitus
, chronic disorder of glucose (sugar) metabolism caused by inadequate production or use of insulin, a hormone produced in specialized cells (beta cells in the islets of Langerhans) in the pancreas that allows the body to use and store
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). The mother's nutrition, drinking (see fetal alcohol syndromefetal alcohol syndrome
(FAS), pattern of physical, developmental, and psychological abnormalities seen in babies born to mothers who consumed alcohol during pregnancy. The abnormalities include low birthweight, facial deformities, and mental retardation, and there appears to be
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), smokingsmoking,
inhalation and exhalation of the fumes of burning tobacco in cigars and cigarettes and pipes. Some persons draw the smoke into their lungs; others do not. Smoking was probably first practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
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, and drug abuse, as well as exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation, can also affect the developing fetus. Smoking, drugs, toxic chemicals, and the like can also damage the father's sperm, which may pass on the defect to the embryo in fertilization. The incidence of some disorders is elevated when the mother or father is older, which increases the likelihood of age-related gene mutations. Certain birth defects can now be detected prenatally through amniocentesisamniocentesis
, diagnostic procedure in which a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus is removed from the uterus by means of a fine needle inserted through the abdomen of the pregnant woman (see pregnancy).
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 and chorionic villus samplingchorionic villus sampling
(CVS) or chorionic villus biopsy
(CVB) , diagnostic procedure in which a sample of chorionic villi from the developing placenta is removed from the uterus of a pregnant woman (see pregnancy) using a fine needle inserted through the abdomen or
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. Surgical procedures to correct certain disorders before birth are still considered experimental.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the research could not fully establish a causal relationship between drugs use and environmental exposures during pregnancy with the birth abnormalities, they, however, stated that the occurrence of common diseases calls for concern as these may be connected with birth defects.
Parker, Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues used data from two case-control studies (the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and the Slone Birth Defects Study) to examine the prevalence of ondansetron use for treatment of first-trimester nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
In a study published in March in Birth Defects Research, researchers found that the addition of folic acid could prevent about 57,000 birth defects of the brain and spine every year in 71 countries.
[USA], May 2 ( ANI ): A group of researchers have found that a common drug for treating epileptic seizures if used by pregnant women can lead to birth defects.
In 2016, as part of the emergency response to the Zika virus outbreak in the World Health Organization's Region of the Americas, population-based birth defects surveillance systems monitored fetuses and infants with birth defects potentially related to Zika virus infection using a standard case definition and multiple data sources.
After the dietary change, both miscarriages and birth defects were completely prevented, with all offspring born healthy.
The adjusted prevalence ratio for having one of the birth defects after being exposed to IIV in the first trimester was 1.02 (95% confidence interval, 0.941.10).
Zika Pregnancy Registry] supports the relationship between congenital Zika virus infection and these birth defects," wrote the authors of a new report led by Janet D.
The study, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality report, examined rates of birth defects in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Georgia in 2012-2013 - before Zika's arrival in the Americas.
A Danish study examined data on birth defects among a nationwide cohort of 880,694 babies born between 1997 and 2011, both at birth and 1 year later.
However, this particular use for Zofran has not been approved by the FDA, and studies have shown that Zofran use in pregnancy may actually put unborn babies at risk for a number of severe birth defects - a risk that outweighs the anti-nausea benefits the medication may have for expectant mothers.
Expert suggests genetic testing could reduce the number of birth defects as more than 75 out of every 1,000 live births here result in a birth defect.