Latest birth defects Stories
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 8 million children are born with birth defects around the world every year and most of them either die or are disabled for life as a result, according to a report released on Monday.
Twins, triplets and other multiples have a nearly 50 percent greater chance of being born with birth defects, and boys tend to be more at risk than girls, according to two population-based studies conducted at the University of Florida.
The babies of women with diabetes are two to five times more likely to develop birth defects than offspring of women without the disease. A recent study in animals by scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston helps explain why. The research, appearing in the October issue of the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests that high blood glucose levels early in pregnancy deprive the embryo of oxygen, interfering with its development.
Folic acid fortification of foods, mandated since 1998 in the United States, continues to help reduce the incidence of severe birth defects such as spina bifida, researchers report.
University of Florida researchers have learned how to selectively shut down a flyweight-sized genetic molecule that packs a heavyweight punch, a discovery that may help doctors better understand cancer, birth defects and other health problems.
A British study has found a possible link between taking folic acid supplements late in pregnancy and an increased incidence of breast cancer decades later. But the researchers themselves state that the finding should be viewed with considerable caution.
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