Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increased Rate Of Common Birthmarks Linked To Rise In Number Of Low Birth Weight Infants In US

Date:
October 23, 2008
Source:
Medical College of Wisconsin
Summary:
Low birth weight is the most significant factor for the development of infantile hemangiomas, a common birthmark, according to a new study.

Low birth weight is the most significant factor for the development of infantile hemangiomas, a common birthmark, according to a new study by researchers at The Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Research Institute.

The study, led by Beth Drolet, M.D., professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the Medical College and medical director of pediatric dermatology and birthmarks and vascular anomalies clinic at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, is published in the November 2008 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.

"Hemangiomas are benign tumors composed of blood vessels. Our institution has seen a dramatic increase in the number of infants presenting for care with hemangiomas. We believe the results of this study provide an explanation for this emerging pediatric health issue," says Dr. Drolet.

While factors such as being female, Caucasian and premature birth have been previously identified as risk factors for hemangiomas, Dr. Drolet's study found that low birth weight was the most statistically significant risk factor.

"For every 1.1 pound decrease in birth weight, the risk of hemangioma increased by nine-fold," says Dr. Drolet.

Recently, there has been an increase in the U.S. of infants born under 5.5 pounds. In 2005, 8.2 percent of infants born in the U. S. weighed less than 5.5 pounds. This is the highest percentage recorded since 1968 and is higher than the rate in most industrialized countries.

Additionally, a dramatic increase in low birth weight has been found in white, non-Hispanic infants. Low birth weight has increased 38 percent since 1990 in this group.

"This study reaffirms several known risk factors for infantile hemangiomas, specifically female gender, white, non-Hispanic race/ethnicity, and prematurity," says Dr. Drolet. "But the link to low birth weight may explain why physicians believe more infants are developing hemangiomas. Based on low birth weight statistics, we estimate that the incidence of infantile hemangiomas has increased by 40 percent in the last 20 years."

The researchers compared 420 children who had been diagnosed with infantile hemangiomas at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of California – San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) with 353 children less than two years old who had been diagnosed with skin anomalies other than infantile hemangioma.

Dr. Drolet and co investigator Dr. Ilona Frieden, professor of dermatology and pediatrics at UCSF, formed a 10-member research consortium to better study ways to prevent and treat infantile hemangiomas.

Earlier studies by the research consortium identified other risk factors for developing hemangiomas, including increased maternal age, maternal history of infertility, and assisted reproductive technologies. Children born to women who had experienced a miscarriage are also more likely to develop hemangiomas. Additionally, 33 percent of infants with hemangiomas had the disorder in their family histories.

While hemangiomas are amongst the most common birthmarks, their cause is not known. Infantile hemangiomas are not visible at birth, but become evident within the first few weeks of life. Because of this, they are less likely to be recorded in typical birth defect registries. Hemangiomas may result in permanent scarring or other medical issues that require treatment.

"The finding that a significantly higher percentage of children with infantile hemangiomas had a positive family history suggests at least some genetic predisposition," says Dr. Drolet.

There are currently no FDA-approved medical therapies for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas. Most treatments are limited, due to increasing the potential risk of scarring.

"We urgently need further research to evaluate existing medications so that more evidence-based approaches to management can be established," says Dr. Drolet. "Our study also underscores the need for continuing education of providers caring for children in distinguishing benign hemangiomas from those with the greatest potential for complications and need for treatment."

The study was funded by the Dermatology Foundation, The American Skin Association, and Children's Research Institute.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Wisconsin. "Increased Rate Of Common Birthmarks Linked To Rise In Number Of Low Birth Weight Infants In US." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093412.htm>.
Medical College of Wisconsin. (2008, October 23). Increased Rate Of Common Birthmarks Linked To Rise In Number Of Low Birth Weight Infants In US. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093412.htm
Medical College of Wisconsin. "Increased Rate Of Common Birthmarks Linked To Rise In Number Of Low Birth Weight Infants In US." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020093412.htm (accessed September 29, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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