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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida Finds Birth Defect Gastroschisis is on the Rise

A congenital birth defect causing an infant’s intestines to protrude through the abdominal wall is increasing in prevalence, according to USF College of Public Health researchers.

Dr. Russell Kirby, USF distinguished professor and principal investigator of the USF Birth Defects Surveillance Program, and Dr. Jason Salemi, COPH alumnus and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, collaborated with researchers across the nation to examine surveillance data from 1995 to 2012 on cases of clinically confirmed gastroschisis from fourteen U.S. states.

Their report, “Increasing Prevalence of Gastroschisis – 14 States, 1995-2012,” was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in January 2016.

Prior surveillance data has shown this birth defect to be strongly associated with births among young mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The prevalence has continued to rise even past 2005, and the steepest increase being among younger moms,” Dr. Kirby said. “In contrast to almost every other birth defect, the prevalence of gastroschisis is rising and that raises questions as to why.”

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