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Sexually transmitted disease, urinary tract infections may be bad combination for birth defect
Date:6/20/2008

ersity of Utah pediatrics department, the Utah Department of Health, and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, conducted their study as part of the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS). This study is a multi-site national investigation using birth defect surveillance systems in Utah and nine other states: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.

The researchers compared data on mothers of 505 babies with gastroschisis and a control group of 4,924 babies without the birth defect in the 10 states. Mothers of babies in both groups were queried through a computer-assisted telephone interview and questioned about whether they'd had kidney, bladder, or urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease or other illnesses, such as STDs, before or during pregnancy. About 70 percent of the women in each group contacted agreed to take part in the study.

Women who reported having both an STD and UTI immediately before or early in pregnancy were four times more likely to have a child with gastroschisis, the researchers found. Mothers under 25 whose babies had gastroschisis reported having an STD and UTI nearly five times more than mothers in the control group. In women 25 or older, no case mothers reported having both types of infection. Mothers in both groups repored having more UTIs than STDs, the researchers found.

Although the association between having both an STD and UTI and the risk for gastroschisis needs more study, it's possible the link might be even stronger than the study suggests, according to Feldkamp. That's because STDs and UTIs often go undiagnosed.

"One of the problems, especially with Chlamydia, is these infections are subclinical (unreported) because the woman doesn't know she has it," Feldkamp said. "We probably have many cases that go undiagnosed."

This is a particularly important issue in the under-20 age g
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Contact: Phil Sahm
Phil.Sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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