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Spina Bifida - Who Is At Risk For Spina Bifida?


Spina Bifida - Who Is At Risk For Spina Bifida? By Hilary Basile

 

 

Doctors are not certain what causes spina bifida, or why neural tubes do not develop or close properly in some babies, though they have identified a few risk factors for spina bifida as follows:


 Doctors are not certain what causes spina bifida, or why neural tubes do not develop or close properly in some babies, though they have identified a few risk factors for spina bifida as follows:

* Race. Spina bifida is more common among Hispanics and whites of Northern European descent.
* Gender. More female babies are born with spina bifida.
* Family history. Couples who have had one child with a neural tube defect have a slightly higher chance of having another baby with the same defect. That risk increases if two previous children have been affected by the condition. In addition, a woman who was born with a neural tube defect, or who has a close relative with one, has a greater chance of giving birth to a child with spina bifida. However, most babies with spina bifida are born to parents with no known family history of the condition.
* Folic acid deficiency. This vitamin is important to the healthy development of a fetus. Lack of folic acid (vitamin B-9) increases the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
* Some medications. Anti-seizure medications, such as valproic acid (Depakene), seem to cause neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy, perhaps because they interfere with the body's ability to use folic acid.
* Diabetes. The risk of spina bifida increases with diabetes, especially when the mother's blood sugar is elevated early in her pregnancy. Careful blood sugar control and management can decrease this risk.
* Obesity. There is a link between pre-pregnancy obesity and neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida. Exactly why obese women have an increased risk of having a baby with spina bifida is not known, but is possibly because of nutritional deficits from poor eating habits or because they may have diabetes - another known risk factor for neural tube defects.
* Increased body temperature. Some evidence suggests that increased body temperature (hypothermia) in the early months of pregnancy may increase the risk of spina bifida. Elevating your core body temperature by about 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, due to fever or the use of saunas and hot tubs, can raise body temperature and has been associated with an increased risk of spina bifida.

 

Article Provided by MyGuidesUSA.com

 

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