Researchers see possible link between opioids, birth defect


Make text smaller Make text larger





By Mike Stobbe

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 U.S. 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. 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.



Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

'Clean Comedy Night' to benefit pregnancy center
Tri-State Pregnancy Center will host "Clean Comedy Night" at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at St. Patrick's Hall on East High Street in Milford.
The headliner is...

Read more »
Image

'Under the Big Top' Vacation Bible School coming to Milford Methodist Church
Milford Methodist Church at 206 East Ann St., Milford, is hosting Vacation Bible School with a "Big Top Circus" theme from Monday, Aug. 5, through Friday, Aug. 9, from 9...
Read more »
Image

LWV Pike County to hear from Victims Intervention Program
The public is invited to hear Michele Minor Wolf of the Pike/Wayne Victims’ Intervention Program (vipempowers.org) give a presentation to the League of Women Voters at 6:30...
Read more »
Image

Smokin' hot and tricked out in Port Jervis
A wide range of vehicles, old and new, were admired by a steady stream of onlookers at the CruzinPort cruise night held at Airport Park in Matamoras, Pa., on July...
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA