Study links breech births to birth defects


Babies presenting in a breech position at birth were more likely to have congenital abnormalities, according to a new, population-based study in the Journal of Perinatology. The findings, the authors conclude, suggest that breech presentation near delivery -- particularly among full-term infants -- should prompt clinicians to check for underlying abnormalities. The study involved 460,147 single-infant deliveries in Missouri between 1993 and 1999. Using a state birth-defects registry and birth certificates, researchers found that babies who were breech at birth were more than twice as likely to have at least one congenital anomaly diagnosed during their first year (11.7% vs. 5.1%), whether full term (9.4 vs. 4.6%) or preterm (20.1 vs. 11.6%). A stronger association was seen for full term vs. preterm infants -- specifically, for chromosomal, central nervous system and musculoskeletal anomalies. For oral clefts, however, the association was stronger in preterm infants. Read the article.

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