Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multiple-birth Babies, Boys Have Higher Risk Of Defects

Date:
November 21, 2005
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
UF researchers who studied all Florida births from 1996 through 2000 found multiples have a higher risk than babies born singly of developing 23 of 40 birth defects, such as spina bifida.

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.

Related Articles


UF researchers who studied all Florida births from 1996 through 2000 found multiples have a higher risk than babies born singly of developing 23 of 40 birth defects, such as spina bifida, according to results recently published online in the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

The same team of researchers, from UF's Maternal Child Health Education Research and Data Center, studied 4,768 pairs of opposite-sex twins and found that boys had a 29 percent higher risk for birth defects than girls. This could be because boys tend to develop at a slower pace, leaving a little more time for potential problems to arise, according to findings published this month in Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology.

"In the past 20 years, multiple births have increased because of greater reliance on assistive reproductive technology, especially among women delaying childbirth until their 30s and 40s," said Yiwei Tang, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and a lead researcher on both studies. "In offering these options to women, full disclosure of an increased risk of birth defects should be made."

Multiples had the highest risks of having certain brain, heart, bladder and liver defects.

Although the risks are greater for multiple-birth babies, the number of children born with birth defects is still small. About 3.5 percent of multiples are born with birth defects, whereas 2.5 percent of single-birth babies are, the research shows.

"Though birth defects are not a common occurrence, when they do occur within a family, it can be life-altering," said Jeffrey Roth, Ph.D., an associate professor of pediatrics, director of the data center and a study co-author. "For the affected family, it doesn't matter that what has happened to them is a rare event."

The team analyzed years of data from Florida Birth Vital Statistics and the Florida Birth Defects Registry, studying 972,694 births for the multiple-birth study. Of those, about 28,000 were multiples, about 3 percent of all births.

"The strength of population-based research is that all women in Florida who gave birth during this time period were taken into account," Roth said.

Among twins, boys were twice as likely as their sisters to have defects of the genital and urinary organs and five times as likely to be born with an obstruction between the stomach and small intestine. But congenital hip dislocation was 10 times more common among girls.

Previous research has shown that boys tend to be more susceptible to birth defects, but little was known about defects among opposite-sex twins, who develop in the same environment and have similar risks for genetic defects, said Christine Cronk, Sc.D., an associate professor and leader of the birth defects epidemiology team at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"(The UF researchers have) speculated that certain birth defects, which occur very early in gestation, have to do with developmental speed in males and females," Cronk said. "The assumption is that if (the baby) is further ahead in development, that would serve as protection against defects."

Because older mothers naturally have an increased risk of giving birth to children with birth defects, the researchers used statistical models to factor out age, race and even education levels that could have led to inaccurate results, Tang said. This way, they only compared babies born to similar mothers, Tang said.

This information allows prospective parents, especially those considering fertility treatments that will increase their odds of having multiple children, to make more informed choices, said Michael Resnick, Ed.D., a pediatrics professor and a co-author of the study.

Informed decisions also increase the chances that parents and their physicians will be prepared to provide the best care should children be born with birth defects, Resnick said.

"This study adds to the knowledge to help genetic counselors, psychologists and physicians to better prepare parents as to what the outcomes might be," Resnick said. "They can discuss this information and ask questions before deciding to start a family."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Multiple-birth Babies, Boys Have Higher Risk Of Defects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121163827.htm>.
University of Florida. (2005, November 21). Multiple-birth Babies, Boys Have Higher Risk Of Defects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121163827.htm
University of Florida. "Multiple-birth Babies, Boys Have Higher Risk Of Defects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051121163827.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins