A possible link

UPDATE #1: Shepherd’s blog has been updated: He’s out of surgery and it appears that everything went well! Keep him close in your thoughts as he begins to recover!

UPDATE #2: Anthony is no longer on Dialysis, and he’s a bit irritable with having to stay in the ICU. He’s getting better!

There are two new reports out concerning the relationship between Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) and environmental factors.  This research from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting today shows that Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) seems to be seasonal – most of the occurrences occur with children born from April to July. January births seem to have a very low incidence of HLHS. The researchers contend that obviously, other factors are at work, and contend that there is a possibility that a woman suffering from Strep Throat during her pregnancy could trigger HLHS.

The possible Strep Throat/HLHS connection is an important find – it is a finalist for the ACC’s Best Poster Awards Competition this week.  This is not the kind of poster competition you probably participated in in grade school. The goal of a scientific poster is to communicate new research quickly, efficiently, and accurately. You have to submit a legitimate research paper with your poster and there are guidelines the poster must conform to.

The second report comes from the Indiana Scool of Medicine, where researchers studied all birth defects that occurred between 1996 and 2002. Their findings show that there seems to be a correlation between time of conception and the occurrence of birth defects – and they pin the blame on pesticide use.

The two reports seem to contradict each other – More HLHS cases occur in children born from April to July, while more birth defects occur in children conceived during April to July. I think that’s the difference – the Indiana research is looking at all recorded birth defects – the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes 22 different categories of birth defects – while the Cincinnati researchers looked only at heart defects. But no matter what set of data you study, it seems to suggest that something is going on.

And if smart people can figure out what it is, perhaps they can stop it.

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One Response to “A possible link”

  1. ellingerfamily Says:

    We were contacted by the CDC and our little boy was concieved between April – July with multiple birth defects. That being said, our first child was also concieved in the same months and she is as healthy as a horse. I’m just waiting for the “smart” people to figure this out so no one has to go down the same road we did.

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