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Opioids linked to birth defect of babies born with intestines hanging outside their bodies

Opioids linked to birth defects: CDC blames prescription drugs for rise in babies born with intestines hanging outside their bodies

  • Roughly 1,800 such cases are seen in the US each year, but the number has been rising and officials don’t know why
  • Now, the CDC believes there could be a link with opioids taken by the mother
  • Cases were 60% more likely in areas that had the highest overall opioid prescription rates

Health officials are looking into a possible link between prescription opioids and a horrific birth defect.

When a baby is born with its intestines hanging outside the stomach, due to a hole in the abdominal wall, it’s called gastroschisis. Most are repaired through surgery.

Roughly 1,800 such cases are seen in the US each year, but the number has been rising and officials don’t know why.

The condition seems to occur more often when the mom is a teenager or was smoking or drinking alcohol early in pregnancy, researchers have noted.

But a study released Thursday noted cases were 60 percent more common in counties that had the highest overall opioid prescription rates. 

Gastroschisis is when a baby is born with its intestines hanging outside the stomach, due to a hole in the abdominal wall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study focused on 20 states.

The study did not see if each mother had been taking opioids, and it does not say opioids caused the birth defects. 

But it echoes earlier research that found a higher risk of birth defects when moms took opioid painkillers like oxycodone just before or early in pregnancy.

Also Thursday, the CDC’s director and two other agency officials wrote a commentary in the journal Pediatrics urging more study of the possible connection between opioids and birth defects.

‘The report sounds an early alarm for the need to increase our public health surveillance on the full range of fetal, infant, and childhood outcomes potentially related to these exposures,’ wrote CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and his two co-authors. 

Roughly 1,800 gastroschisis cases are seen in the US each year, but the number has been rising and officials don't know why. Now, the CDC believes there could be a link with opioids taken by the mother

Roughly 1,800 gastroschisis cases are seen in the US each year, but the number has been rising and officials don’t know why. Now, the CDC believes there could be a link with opioids taken by the mother

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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