Previous research suggests that advanced paternal age increases the risk of musculoskeletal congenital anomalies (CAs) in offspring, but findings are inconsistent. This study aims to investigate the risk of musculoskeletal CAs according to paternal age at birth in an unselected population covering cohort of children.
A register-based prospective study of 1,605,885 children born in Denmark, 1978-2004, using information from record-linked health and administrative registers. The association between paternal age and overall musculoskeletal CAs, limb anomalies, craniosynostosis, skeletal dysplasias, syndromic musculoskeletal CAs, and other musculoskeletal CAs were investigated by multiple logistic regression analysis.
For overall musculoskeletal CAs, a slightly higher risk per 10-year increase in paternal age was found (odds ratio [OR] = 1.06 [95% CI: 1.01-1.11; where CI is confidence interval]). A 26% (95% CI: 2-56%) excess risk was found for fathers aged 50+ years compared to fathers aged 30-34 years. For syndromic musculoskeletal CAs, excess risks were found for fathers aged 40+ years, compared to fathers aged 30-34 years (40-44: OR = 1.38 [95% CI: 1.01-1.88], 45-49: OR = 1.45 [95% CI: 0.89-2.34], 50+: OR = 1.42 [95% CI: 0.73-2.79]). The risks in all other subgroups of musculoskeletal CAs were increased for fathers aged 50+ years.
A slightly higher risk for overall musculoskeletal CAs in offspring was found with increasing paternal age, mainly due to an excess risk of syndromic musculoskeletal CAs for fathers aged 40+ years. While associations between paternal age 50+ years and increased risk of all subtypes of musculoskeletal CAs were indicated, advanced paternal age likely plays a minor role in the etiology of these anomalies.
The Alberta Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System was started in 1966 in response to the thalidomide tragedy earlier in the decade. It was one of four provincial surveillance systems on which the federal government relied for baseline statistics of congenital anomalies. The government now collects data from six provinces and one territory. The Alberta Congenital Anomaly Surveillance System originally depended on three types of notification to the Division of Vital Statistics, Department of Health, Government of Alberta: birth notice and certificates of death and stillbirth; increased sources of ascertainment have greatly improved data quality. We present the data for 1980-86 and compare the prevalence rates of selected anomalies with the rates from three other surveillance systems. Surveillance systems do not guarantee that a new teratogen will be detected, but they are extremely valuable for testing hypotheses regarding causation. At the very least they provide baseline data with which to compare any deviation or trend. For many, if not most, congenital anomalies total prevention is not possible; however, surveillance systems can be used to measure progress in prevention.
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Elevated levels of chemokines have been reported in plasma and brain tissue of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to examine chemokine levels in amniotic fluid (AF) samples of individuals diagnosed with ASD and their controls.
A Danish Historic Birth Cohort (HBC) kept at Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen was utilized. Using data from Danish nation-wide health registers, a case-control study design of 414 cases and 820 controls was adopted. Levels of MCP-1, MIP-1a and RANTES were analyzed using Luminex xMAP technology. Case-control differences were assessed as dichotomized at below the 10th percentile or above the 90th percentile cut-off points derived from the control biomarker distributions (logistic regression) or continuous measures (tobit regression).
AF volume for 331 cases and 698 controls was sufficient for Luminex analysis. Including all individuals in the cohort yielded no significant differences in chemokine levels in cases versus controls. Logistic regression analyses, performed on individuals diagnosed using ICD-10 only, showed increased risk for ASD with elevated MCP-1 (elevated 90th percentile adjusted OR: 2.32 [95% CI: 1.17-4.61]) compared to controls. An increased risk for infantile autism with elevated MCP-1 was also found (adjusted OR: 2.28 [95% CI: 1.16-4.48]). Elevated levels of MCP-1 may decipher an etiologic immunologic dysfunction or play rather an indirect role in the pathophysiology of ASD. Further studies to confirm its role and to identify the potential pathways through which MCP-1 may contribute to the development of ASD are necessary.
To determine whether Aboriginal Canadians from Manitoba and Ontario have an increased incidence of isolated total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (TAPVD) and to compare results obtained from two different data sources and time periods.
A nonconcurrent cohort study was undertaken. Incidence rates and relative risk from 'traditional' data sources (cases from medical records data; births from Census, Vital Statistics and Native Registry data for Manitoba and Ontario) from 1972-84 were derived and compared with those from computerized hospital abstract data from Manitoba for 1987-91.
Using traditional data sources an incidence of 0.282/1000 live births was noted in Aboriginals versus 0.062 in non-Aboriginals for a relative risk of 4.6 (95% CI = 2.7-7.7). For Manitoba only the relative risk was 5.8 (95% CI = 2.6-12.8). Using computerized administrative data from Manitoba the relative risk was 5.8 (95% CI = 1.3-25.8).
There is an increased incidence of isolated TAPVD in Aboriginal peoples from Manitoba and Ontario. Further epidemiological investigation is necessary to determine the nature of this association.
Recent evidence suggests that periconceptional folic acid use could not only prevent neural tube defects but also other malformations. The objectives of this study were to assess trends in dispensed high dose periconceptional folic acid (5 mg) and birth prevalence of major congenital malformations.
The Quebec Pregnancy Registry, an administrative database with information on periconceptional prescribed medication and diagnostic codes was used to conduct this study. All pregnant women insured by the Quebec public drug plan between January 1(st) 1998 and December 31(st) 2008 were included. The exposure was defined as the use of high dose periconceptional folic acid 30 days before, and during the first 70 days of pregnancy. The outcome measured was the birth prevalence of major congenital malformations among live births.
We identified 152,392 pregnancies and babies. The annual prevalence of high dose periconceptional folic acid use increased from 0.17% to 0.80% (p
In the Kuopio and North-Karelia districts of Finland 10724 pregnancies were screened for congenital nephrosis by maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) measurement. Outcome was known for 10504 (98%) pregnancies, of which 509 (4 X 8%) had a serum AFP level greater than or equal to 2 X 5 multiples of the normal median (MoM) at 15-18 weeks gestation. After exclusion of those women who had a normal serum AFP level (less than 2 X 5 MoM) in a second sample, 'wrong dates' or multiple pregnancy, 267 (2 X 5%) remained with a high serum AFP level. Amniocentesis was carried out in 225 (2 X 1%) and 16 women had an amniotic fluid AFP level greater than 10 SD above the normal mean. In this group there were six fetuses with congenital nephrosis (four confirmed and two suspected), six other serious malformations (including an intrauterine death) and four without obvious abnormality. In the 98% pregnancies followed up there were no infants with congenital nephrosis that had been missed. Babies with congenital nephrosis require permanent hospitalization and have a mean survival of 8 months. In Finland, within certain areas, the birth prevalence is as high as 1 in 2600 per year. In such areas maternal serum AFP measurement appears to be a useful method of screening for congenital nephrosis. The service was also well accepted since 94% of the women with raised serum AFP levels wished to be screened again in a future pregnancy.
The results of two studies, one in Finland and one in the U.S.A., raise the possibility that fetal damage previously attributed to phenytoin and other anticonvulsant drugs, principally phenobarbitone, may be due to epilepsy itself. In the U.S.A., drug-exposure information was collected before delivery in a cohort of 50 282 mother/child pairs. The total malformation rate in 305 children born to epileptic mothers was 10.5%, as against 6.4% in the remainder (p less than 0.01); corresponding rates for major malformations were 6.6% and 2.7%. When the fathers had epilepsy, the malformation-rates in their children were intermediate. The rates did not vary significantly according to maternal anticonvulsants therapy. Mental and motor scores as 8 months of age, and intelligence quotient scores at 4 years were lower in children of epileptic mothers, but not in children of epileptic fathers. The scores showed only random variation according to maternal anticonvulsant therapy. In Finland, 2784 children with craniofacial anomalies were compared with an equal number of normal children; 8 and 2 mothers, respectively, received anticonvulsants, while pregnant, for epilepsy. In that study, the separate effects of the disease and its treatmet could not be evaluated. Both studies did not find evidence of fetal damage when phenobarbitone was taken for indications other than epilepsy.
Hypnotic benzodiazepine receptor agonists (HBRAs; zolpidem, zopiclone, and zaleplon) are used in the treatment of insomnia. Little is known about the safety of HBRAs during pregnancy.
Data from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry from July 1, 1995, up to 2007 were used to identify 1318 women who reported the use of HBRAs in early pregnancy. They gave birth to 1341 infants. Maternal characteristics and the presence of congenital malformations were compared with all other women who gave birth (n = 1,106,001) and all other infants (n = 1,125,734) born during the study period.
Use and/or reporting of HBRAs increased with maternal age and were higher at first than higher parity. Maternal smoking was strongly associated with reported use of HBRAs. The probability of using HBRAs increased in women who had had 3 or more earlier miscarriages or 5 or more years of involuntary childlessness. An excess use of other drugs and above all psychoactive drugs were seen in women reporting use of HBRAs.Hypnotic benzodiazepine receptor agonists were not associated with an increased risk for congenital malformations. A statistically significant high risk for other intestinal malformations than atresias/stenosis was based on only 4 infants.
Maternal use of HBRAs does not seem to increase malformation risk. The tentative association with some intestinal malformations may be due to chance because of multiple testing and needs confirmation.
To examine the associations of maternal and infant complications with postpartum hospitalisation for psychosis in women with a pre-conception history of psychiatric hospitalisation.
Swedish medical birth register.
Primiparous women who gave birth between 1 January 1987 and 31 December 2001, and who had a pre-conception history of psychiatric hospitalisation but who were not hospitalised during pregnancy (n = 1842).
International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes were used to identify prenatal, obstetric, postpartum maternal complications, and newborn health conditions. We used multivariable logistic regression to describe the associations between maternal and infant health conditions and the odds for postpartum hospitalisation for psychosis.
Psychiatric hospitalisation within 90 days of delivery.
Compared with women who did not have a postpartum psychiatric hospitalisation, hospitalised women were at 2.3 times higher odds (95% CI 1.0-4.9) of having non-psychiatric puerperium complications (e.g. infection, lactation problems or venous complications). No other maternal complications were associated with postpartum psychiatric hospitalisation. Although their infants were at no higher odds for health complications, the offspring of women who had a postpartum psychiatric hospitalisation were at 4.1 times higher odds (95% CI 1.3-12.6) of death within the first 365 days of life than those of women who were not hospitalised.
We found no prenatal indicators of postpartum risk for psychiatric hospitalisation among high-risk women, but they had higher odds of postpartum pregnancy-related medical problems and, rarely, offspring death.
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National register systems include detailed individual-level information. In the Nordic countries, these data sources include personal identification number, which can be used for linkages between registers. A case study on the effects of possible hazardous waste on the former and current residents of Myllypuro in Helsinki, Finland, is presented to assess if the utilisation of pre-collected official health register information is feasible in environmental health research. National register information was used as the primary data source, since large-scale health examination studies are seldom feasible and the use of surveys may result in biased information. The exposure data were based on residence information from the Central Population Register and the outcome data came from three national population and health registers. No evidence of health problems was found. The use of administrative register data was feasible, since the main prerequisites of epidemiological studies - the enumeration of exposed population without selection bias, the tracking of exposed population without loss to follow-up and the formation of different exposure measures - were reached. The small size of study sample and the rarity of several outcome measures impeded the analysis and the evaluation of clinical and public health aspects of the main findings.