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U.S. Health Care Costs From Birth Defects Total Almost $23 Billion a Year

Posted 1 day 4 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 – About three of every 100 U.S. newborns have a serious birth defect, and health care costs tied to these difficulties total almost $23 billion annually, new research shows. The findings might help "motivate change" in reducing costs associated with birth defects "through prevention, early detection and care throughout the life span," said researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the advocacy group March of Dimes, birth defects are health conditions in newborns that "change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body." Common and serious birth defects include heart defects, cleft lip/palate and spina bifida (a major spinal cord defect), the group said. Each year in the United States, more than 120,000 babies are born with a birth defect, the March of Dimes said. The costs to the baby's health – and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Postcoital Contraception, Delivery, Labor Induction, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor Pain, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a Global Problem: Report

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – About 119,000 children worldwide are born each year with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a new report finds. The syndrome refers to a group of conditions that include poor growth for the baby both in the womb and after birth, and mental, physical and developmental problems for the child that can last through adulthood, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Globally, an average of nearly 10 percent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy. But, the rate is as high as 45 percent in some countries, said researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. The five countries with the highest alcohol use in pregnancy were Russia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belarus and Ireland. As a region, Europe had a 2.6 higher prevalence of the syndrome than the global average. The lowest levels of drinking during pregnancy and fetal alcohol ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Delivery, Alcoholism, Hangover, Premature Labor, Hydrocephalus, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor Pain, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Fetal Maturation, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Pregnancy OK for Most Women With Congenital Heart Conditions: Report

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Women with serious congenital heart defects can usually have successful pregnancies – but they should work closely with their doctors before, during and after pregnancy, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA). At one time, women born with complex heart conditions were told they could never have a baby, said Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn, a cardiologist and one of the authors of the AHA scientific statement. But that old thinking has evolved, said Aboulhosn, who is based at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. Studies in recent years have shown that when those women work with an experienced team of health care providers, they generally can have healthy pregnancies, the statement said. The key is planning, said Mary Canobbio, a registered nurse who led the committee that crafted the new recommendations. "Prepregnancy ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Arrhythmia, Postcoital Contraception, Pulmonary Hypertension, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Aortic Stenosis, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Doctors Describe First U.S. Case of Locally Acquired Zika in Pregnancy

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – The first case of locally acquired Zika virus in a pregnant woman in the United States did not result in devastating birth defects, doctors report. In a case study from the University of Miami, doctors provide new insight into the mosquito-borne virus, showing fetal exposure doesn't necessarily mean infection. The report also alerts doctors to suspect Zika in patients who may have traveled to south Florida, not just to areas outside the country where the virus is more prevalent. The infant – born full-term in October – showed none of the devastating birth defects linked to Zika, such as microcephaly (an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain). "Initially, everything with the baby looked fine," said Dr. Ivan Gonzalez. He is co-director of the Zika response team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where the mother and baby were ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Why Major Zika Outbreak Is Unlikely in U.S.

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – The United States' comfortable standard of living makes a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus unlikely, a new scientific paper suggests. Exposure to mosquitoes in the United States is limited by widespread access to clean water, air conditioning, screened doors and windows, and other household amenities that most Americans take for granted, said lead author Max Moreno-Madrinan. He's an assistant professor with Indiana University-Purdue University Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis. Thus, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is not likely to gain a foothold in the United States as it did in Brazil and a host of other Latin American countries, according to Moreno-Madrinan. More than 80,000 people in 69 countries have been infected during an ongoing Zika outbreak that originated in Brazil in 2015. The prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika in ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

Mothers of Kids With Severe Birth Defects May Have Shorter Lives: Study

Posted 20 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 20, 2016 – A mother raising a child with a major birth defect may face a higher risk of dying early compared with a mother whose child doesn't have a birth defect, Danish research suggests. But, the researchers added, the risk of early death was "marginal." The finding is based on a review involving more than 455,000 Danish mothers. Some had given birth to children with single- or multiple-organ birth defects, including genetic conditions, such as heart or kidney disease, and/or structural anomalies, such as a cleft palate. The result: raising a child with a birth defect was associated with a higher – though still low – maternal risk for dying from heart disease or respiratory illness. "It's important to say that young women just don't die very frequently," stressed study lead author Dr. Eyal Cohen. He's a physician in the department of pediatrics with The Hospital for ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

MRI Helps Assess Fetal Brain Abnormalities: Study

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 – A follow-up MRI scan after a mid-pregnancy ultrasound could help improve diagnosis of a possible fetal brain abnormality, a new British study reports. Women selected for this study had undergone an ultrasound at 18 to 21 weeks of pregnancy that detected a potential brain abnormality in the fetus. The extra information provided by the follow-up MRI helped doctors give a more accurate diagnosis and advice, according to the study authors. The study was published Dec. 14 in The Lancet. "Adding an MRI scan when a problem is detected provides additional information to support parents making decisions about their pregnancy," said lead author Paul Griffiths. He's a professor of radiology at the University of Sheffield. "Based on our findings we propose that an MRI scan should be given in any pregnancy where the fetus may have a suspected brain abnormality," Griffiths ... Read more

Related support groups: Folic Acid, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Body Imaging, Ethinyl Estradiol/folic Acid/levonorgestrel, Folacin-800, Hemocyte-F, Folvite, FaLessa Kit, Nephro-Fer RX, Calcium/folic Acid/ginger/pyridoxine, Ed Cyte F, Ferrous Sulfate/Folic Acid, Folic Acid/lactobacillus Casei, Tandem F, Ferrocite F, Ortho D, Focalgin-B

Lab Vaccine Shields Mice Against Zika Virus

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Antibodies drawn from a patient infected with Zika could form the basis of a vaccine against the notorious virus, a new animal study suggests. Antibodies are protective proteins produced by the immune system. In laboratory studies, two antibodies drawn from the blood of a Zika-infected patient shielded mice from Zika virus infection, according to a team of Chinese researchers. Further, these antibodies appear to avoid one of the problems researchers have come up against in trying to develop a Zika vaccine, the study authors noted. Zika belongs to the flavivirus family, a group of mosquito-borne viruses that also includes dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Flaviviruses tend to cross-react, meaning that prior infection with any of them can increase a person's risk of contracting a nastier version of another flavivirus, explained Dr. Daniel Caplivski. ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Birth Defects From Zika More Far-Reaching Than Thought

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Zika's ability to damage the infant brain may be even more far-reaching and insidious than previously thought, two new studies suggest. One study found that 6 percent of infants born to Zika-infected mothers in the United States had one or more birth defects related to the mosquito-borne virus. Meanwhile, a Brazilian study found 46 percent of babies of infected mothers in that country developed birth defects or died. The author of the U.S. study said many of the U.S.-born babies may still be diagnosed with birth defects as they approach the age of 1, since evidence has shown the virus can continue to damage a baby's brain after birth. The Zika outbreak first struck Brazil in April 2015, while the United States did not start reporting Zika infections until 2016. The devastating birth defects caused by the Zika virus – such as microcephaly, where the infant is ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Study Shows How Zika Attacks Infant Brain

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 – New research paints a chilling portrait of how Zika ravages the infant brain. Scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the mosquito-borne virus can replicate itself thousands of times in both fetal brain cells and the placentas of pregnant women. Levels of Zika's genetic material were about 1,000 times higher in the infants' brains than in the placentas, the researchers noted. Not only that, the virus can persist for more than seven months, which may explain why some babies who appeared normal at birth later developed symptoms of microcephaly, the researchers said. The most common birth defect associated with Zika, microcephaly leaves infants with too small heads and underdeveloped brains. "Our findings show that Zika virus can continue to replicate in infants' brains even after birth, and that the virus can persist in ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Zika-Linked Birth Defects Surge in Colombia: CDC

Posted 11 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – The tragedy of hundreds of babies born with devastating birth defects linked to the Zika virus is no longer confined to Brazil, a new report confirms. Colombia is now also experiencing a surge in these cases of infant microcephaly. It's a birth defect where newborns whose mothers contracted the mosquito-borne virus in pregnancy are born with too-small skulls and underdeveloped brains. A team led by Margaret Honein, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that between Jan. 31, 2016 and mid-November 2016, there were 476 cases of microcephaly in Colombia, a fourfold increase from the same period in 2015. There were nine times as many cases of microcephaly in July 2016 than in July 2015, the researchers said. And because Colombia's surveillance of birth defects relies on voluntary reporting, the new data "likely underestimates the actual ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Florida Now Zika-Free

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Florida is now Zika-free, U.S. health officials reported Friday. One area in south Miami Beach had remained an active zone for local transmission of the virus, which can cause severe birth defects in babies born to women who are infected while pregnant. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that there have been no new cases of local Zika transmission in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, so that neighborhood is no longer considered an active zone. "Florida's rapid response and comprehensive mosquito control program has allowed them to interrupt Zika transmission, but we must stay vigilant and also take what we have learned and be prepared for next season," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in the statement. And he added a caveat. "Pregnant women who live or have been to this area should continue to be evaluated for Zika ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

New Clues to Huge Jump in U.S. Mosquito Population

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – New research hints at why the number of mosquitoes has jumped 10-fold in the past 50 years in certain U.S. states: Increased urbanization and shrinking levels of the pesticide DDT in the environment could be major factors. "At first glance, recent increases in mosquito populations appear to be linked to rising temperatures from climate change, but careful analyses of data over the past century show that it's actually recovery from the effects of DDT," said study co-author Marm Kilpatrick. He is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Still, Kilpatrick said, climate change may be a factor going forward. "On the cold edge of a species' distribution, temperature matters a lot. In Washington, D.C., for example, where Aedes aegypti is not common now, it might become more common if the winters get ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Malaria Prophylaxis, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Another Miami Neighborhood Now Zika-Free

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – The Little River section of Miami is no longer an area where local Zika infection is active, Florida health officials reported Friday. While Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the development was great news for the state, he also asked residents to continue doing what they can to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to devastating birth defects in babies. "It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant and continues to do their part to wear bug spray and dump standing water so we can keep these areas clear, especially for pregnant women and their developing babies," Scott said in a statement. The Florida health department "now believes active transmission of Zika is only occurring in the southern part of Miami Beach, and I hope that local officials will consider every available resource to ensure aggressive mosquito control measures are ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Texas Reports 1st Likely Case of Local Zika Infection

Posted 29 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Texas reported its first possible case of locally transmitted Zika infection on Monday. If confirmed, Texas would join Florida as the only states with local transmissions of the mosquito-borne illness linked to birth defects. The case involves a woman who lives in Brownsville, near Mexico, and she had no travel-related risk factors for Zika infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The virus is typically spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, although it can also be transmitted through sexual contact. "Even though it is late in the mosquito season, mosquitoes can spread Zika in some areas of the country," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "Texas is doing the right thing by increasing local surveillance and trapping and testing mosquitoes in the Brownsville area." As of Nov. 23, an estimated ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

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