Navigation Links
Hypospadias, a birth defect of the male urethra, is not increasing in New York state
Date:6/5/2009

NEW YORK (June 5, 2009) -- In recent decades, there have been periodic reports of a worldwide decline in sperm count and quality. Male infertility has ostensibly been on the rise, accompanied by increases in testicular cancer and hypospadias -- a congenital defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside, rather than at the end, of the penis. Taken together, these three conditions have been termed testicular dysgenesis syndrome.

Environmental chemicals known as phthalates, some researchers say, may be the cause of the problem. Used in the manufacture of plastics, phthalates at sufficiently high levels have been seen to interfere with male fetal development. Some studies have found that hypospadias are more prevalent among male infants today than they were 30 years ago.

Now, a team of researchers based at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have taken a fresh look at the data and have found no rise in rates of hypospadias in New York State from 1992 to 2005. Similar findings have been reported by researchers looking at state-level data in Washington and California.

These studies break the link between the purported cause -- phthalates -- and their presumed effect -- impaired male reproductive health, says Dr. Harry Fisch, director of the Male Reproductive Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of clinical urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"It's all in the data," says Dr. Fisch. "For one, the entire method of collecting data on birth defects has changed. Statewide surveillance of birth defects has become the norm. This calls into question the value of the older data.

"Second," he adds, "we can't assume that these chemicals are harmful at low, environmentally allowable levels just because we've seen high rates of exposure to phthalates in utero have been linked to hypospadias in animal studies."

In the study, Dr. Fisch and and his colleagues reviewed the total number of cases of hypospadias in New York State from 1992 to 2005 and found no statistically significant increase during that interval. These findings have just been published in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Urology. Co-authors included Drs. Terry W. Hensle and Grace Hyun of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Sarah M. Lambert of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

When combined with recent research showing that sperm counts are not declining, the current study suggests that testicular dysgenesis syndrome may not be a problem in humans, contrary to earlier concerns.

The only significant risk factor for hypospadias that emerged from Dr. Fisch's research is maternal age. Children of mothers aged 35 years and older show higher rates of the birth defect -- a finding that is consistent with other recent epidemiological studies.

Most hypospadias can be surgically repaired in the first year of life by a pediatric urologist.

More on Phthalates

In July 2008, Congress approved a ban on the use of phthalates in children's products, such as teething rings, rubber ducks, and soft toys. However, these chemicals are ubiquitous in today's environment. Also known as plasticizers, they are found in shampoo, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, pesticides, plastic wrap, garden hoses, and plastic clothing, among other common products.

Given their suspected detrimental effects at high levels of concentration, questions arise around how to regulate phthalates and other human-made environmental chemicals.

"Environmental chemicals need to be regulated," says Dr. Fisch, "but policies should be based on science, not fear."


'/>"/>

Contact: Gloria Chin
glc9010@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
2. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
3. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
4. Steroids Seem Safe for Babies at Risk of Early Birth
5. Many U.S. Women Unaware of Birth Defect Risks
6. Moms Low Cholesterol Tied to Preemie Births
7. IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
8. Fetal cell transplant could be a hidden link between childbirth and reduced risk of breast cancer
9. Sue Birth Control Companies for Your Health, Says American Life League
10. Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
11. UF researchers track genetic journey of HIV from birth to death
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter ... bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set ... , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers ... Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today ... its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest ... possible value to their clients by offering a ... preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform ... MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: