Discoveries and Data: Specific Conditions

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title_bd_gastro_studies-1824597

pic_bd_teen-3294924 The younger the mother, the higher the risk for having a baby with gastroschisis. What is the biologic explanation for this striking pattern? We investigated nutritional and reproductive factors, theorizing that teen mothers themselves may still be growing, thus competing with their unborn babies for nutrients. Here’s what we’ve found.

UNDERWEIGHT MOTHERS AT RISK

bullet-2624862 Babies with gastroschisis are born 3 times as often to mothers who are underweight; risk is reduced for overweight mothers ref_book-4031489
bullet-2624862 Mothers of infants with gastroschisis started menstruating at about the same age as other girls, but have a shorter interval between their first period and their first pregnancy. ref_book-4031489

DIETARY FACTORS IMPORTANT

bullet-2624862 Low vegetable and fruit consumption is associated with a 3 times higher risk of gastroschisis.
bullet-2624862 A 3-4 fold risk increase is noted with low intake of carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables) or glutathione (from animal protein or fruits/vegetables). Both nutrients are antioxidants and may protect the fetus from oxygen stress.
bullet-2624862 High dietary levels of nitrosamines (found in preserved meats and beer) more than double the risk. ref_book-4031489

MANY MOTHERS HAVE DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS

bullet-2624862 Women who faced greater social and economic challenges during childhood/young adulthood are more likely to have babies with gastroschisis.
bullet-2624862 These disadvantages included not completing high school, having low or middle income level, living with but not married to the baby’s father, growing up without her own father in the home and not knowing if her mother smoked (often because she was raised by someone else). ref_book-4031489 pdf_logo-3589481
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