In the last decades, an increasing rate of gastroschisis but not of omphalocele has been reported worldwide. Greenland is the world's largest island, but 80% is covered by an ice cap, it has a small population of around 56,000 peoples (as of 2016). The occurrence of abdominal wall defects has never been investigated in Greenland.
The present study is based on data retrieved from three nationwide and two local registries in the Greenlandic health care system over 27 years (1989-2015).
We identified 33 infants with abdominal wall defects born in the study time period. All cases were reclassified to 28 cases of gastroschisis, four cases of omphalocele, and there was 1 infant in the indeterminate group. The point prevalence at birth for gastroschisis increased significantly from 8 to 35 (average 10.7) per 10,000 liveborn and -stillborn infants. Mothers below 20 years of age represented 23% of all cases and the prevalence for this group was 17 per 10,000 liveborn and stillborn. Perinatal mortality for infants with gastroschisis was high (18%), and 1 year survival was 71%. For omphalocele, the prevalence varied from 8 to 11 per 10,000 liveborn and stillborn infants. There was no increasing rate in the period, further highlighting an etiological difference between gastroschisis and omphalocele.
CHARGE syndrome is a well-characterized clinical diagnosis with recent data supporting a genetic etiology. A 3-year national surveillance coordinated by the Canadian Pediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP) was started in September 2001. Physicians notified the CPSP if they had cared for individuals with CHARGE syndrome within their practice, and then completed a detailed reporting form. To date, there are 77 confirmed cases of CHARGE syndrome. The highest provincial prevalence of CHARGE syndrome in Canada was estimated at 1 in 8,500 live births. Subgroups of cases with particular clusters of anomalies were identified. In older individuals, bilateral posterior choanal atresia (BPCA) was predictive of the presence of the three other major criteria and of aortic arch anomalies. Individuals with CHARGE syndrome who demonstrated a less extensive phenotype (
Comment In: Am J Med Genet A. 2005 Dec 1;139A(2):169; discussion 170-116278895
In the county of Fyn (about 500,000 inhabitants) which is a well defined and representative 10% sample of the total Danish population, 15 total birth cohorts were scrutinized for the occurrence of anorectal malformations (ARM). All the patients were followed until the age of 7 or death. In a total of 96,073 births, 29 cases were observed; one concordant monozygotic pair was counted as one case. The study showed the point prevalence at birth to be 3.0 per 10,000; almost the same frequency has been found in Sweden whereas other figures from Europe and North America are lower. Children with ARM have in general a poor prognosis, largely due to the many associated anomalies. In this material, 11 of 12 isolated ARM cases survived until age 7, but five of these had significant handicaps. Out of 17 probands with associated anomalies, only seven survived until age 7, all of them having some handicap. This group of patients spent at least 15 times more days in hospital than an age-matched group from the same region until age 7, and they underwent a considerable number of operations. The study showed an increased frequency of chromosome anomalies among children with ARM.
The incidence of Hirschsprung's disease was studied in approximately 1.5 million consecutive live births in Denmark by hospital records. A diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease required a histologic verified absence of ganglion cells in either biopsy or surgical colonic specimens. The incidence of Hirschsprung's disease was found to be 0.140 per 1000 live births (1:7,165) with a male: female ratio of 4.1:1 in short segment, and 2.4:1 in long segment Hirschsprung's disease (p = 0.36). Maternal age and birth order were unimportant factors. The association of Hirschsprung's disease and Down's syndrome was seen in 9 of the 207 patients and may represent a real association, whereas the association with congenital heart defects seen in 2% (not including patients with Down's syndrome) is more doubtful. A mortality of 16% among the patients with Hirschsprung's disease emphasizes the extreme importance of early diagnosis.
The records of an ongoing health surveillance registry that utilizes multiple sources of ascertainment were used to study the incidence rate of congenital malformations of the anterior abdominal wall in live-born children in British Columbia during the period 1964--1978 inclusive. No overall increase in incidence rate of these anomalies was detected during the study period. The estimated live-born incidence rates were: one in 4,175 live births for omphalocoele, one in 12,328 live births for gastroschisis, and one in 29,231 live births for prune belly. The data were analyzed with regard to sex and associated anomalies. Some practical implications regarding assessment of these infants are discussed.
Apolipoprotein E phenotypes and plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels were determined in 435 individuals (233 men, 202 women) of French Canadian descent living in northeastern Quebec. This region is known for its high frequency of mutant genes responsible for rare genetic disorders. Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were adjusted for age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference using regressions performed separately in men and in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The APOE allele frequencies in this population-based sample were 0.137, 0.749, and 0.114 for the *2, *3, and *4 alleles, respectively. APOE2 (APOE 2,2 and APOE 3,2) subjects had lower total and LDL cholesterol levels than APOE3 (APOE 3,3) subjects. In APOE4 (APOE 4,3 and APOE 4,4) men and postmenopausal women levels of total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly higher than in the corresponding APOE3 subjects. The *2 allele was also found to be associated with higher triglyceride levels in men and postmenopausal women. Men of the APOE4 group also presented lower HDL cholesterol levels. Although the impact of APOE polymorphism on blood lipid and lipoprotein levels in this French Canadian population is similar to what has been reported in other white populations, the frequency of the *2 allele is among the highest ever reported. This finding is discussed in terms of the founder effect characterizing the Quebec population.
One of the major concerns about ART is the risk of birth defects in children born after in vitro fertilization. We report on a cohort of consecutive children affected with anorectal malformation (ARM) requiring surgical correction in which we found a significantly high proportion (Odds ratio 13.31, 95% confidence limits 4.0-39.6) of children born after ART. Our data is in agreement with the result of a recent epidemiological study in Sweden. Further studies are necessary to define the risk and identify the causes, if any. At present, couples undergoing ART should be informed of the general risk of congenital anomalies, of which, ARM can be suggested as an example.