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Breech Birth May Be Determined by Genes
Date:3/28/2008

'Bottom first' delivery more likely if either parent was born that way, study says

FRIDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- If one or both parents were born bottom first or feet first -- called a breech delivery -- their children are twice as likely to be born the same way, Norwegian researchers report.

Most babies are born head first, but about one in 20 is born bottom first. Breech deliveries increase the risk that the baby will die or suffer from health problems, the study authors noted.

"Both men and women delivered in breech presentation at term contribute to increased risk of breech delivery in their offspring," said lead researcher Tone Nordtveit, a research fellow at the University of Bergen. "Recurrence through the father is as strong as recurrence through the mother. Genes passed on from the father or the mother seem to be closely related to breech delivery," she added.

The findings were published in the March 28 online edition of the British Medical Journal.

For the study, Nordtveit's team collected data on all births in Norway between 1967 in 2004. Specifically, they looked at information on first-born children.

"Men and women who themselves were delivered in breech presentation had more than twice the risk of breech delivery in their own first pregnancies compared with men and women who had been cephalic presentations," Nordtveit said.

The strongest risks for breech delivery were found for vaginally delivered babies and were equally strong for men and women. Increased risk of recurrence of breech delivery in offspring occurred only for parents delivered at term, Nordtveit said.

When the researchers looked at 35,056 men who had children with two different women, they found the same risk for breech delivery, indicating that the increased risk appears to have a genetic component.

Predicting a breech delivery is important, Nordtveit said, because t
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