In the United States, one out of every thirty-three infants is born with some sort of birth defect or congenital malformation. Certain risk factors such as age and substance use increase the likelihood of having a baby afflicted with a defect and public health nurses have worked tirelessly to educate the public about these factors. In addition, thanks to modern medicine, many defects are detected early in pregnancy, which allows for careful monitoring and planning for the delivery. In spite of these gains, birth defects continue to dominate the public health arena because they are a leading cause of death for infants and play a prominent role in long-term morbidity and disability.
Gastroschisis and omphalocele are abdominal wall defects that present with herniation of intestines and organs due to failure of abdominal wall closure during embryonic development. Of the two abdominal wall defects, gastroschisis has demonstrated a worldwide increase in prevalence over the last three to four decades. The common denominator in the literature is young maternal age. However, the relationship between maternal age and gastroschisis is unclear. This study utilized birth certificate data from New York State to examine the relationship between maternal characteristics and delivering an infant with gastroschisis.
In this study, the infants diagnosed with gastroschisis were mostly singleton births born at an earlier gestation (34-36 weeks) and a lower birth weight (1500-2499 gm) than infants without gastroschisis. From a demographic perspective, mothers of infants with gastroschisis were more likely to be younger (≤24), Hispanic or less educated. The findings also revealed that mothers of infants with gastroschisis were more likely to have inadequate prenatal care, use tobacco, illicit drugs or have a sexually transmitted disease. Mothers of infants with gastroschisis were also more likely to live in a non-metropolitan county or fall into a lower socioeconomic status. Further research is needed to continue examining the relationship between maternal characteristics and a diagnosis of gastroschisis in the newborn infant.
|Commitee:||Atav, A. Serdar, Little, Michael, Stewart Fahs, Pamela|
|School:||State University of New York at Binghamton|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Birth defects, Congenital malformations, Gastroschisis, Increased prevalence, New York|
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