ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Add your Article

Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Pesticides may increase the risk of birth defects, say researchers who found that the highest rates of birth defects in U.S. babies occur among those conceived in the spring and summer, the same time that there are increased levels of pesticides in surface water.

Researchers analyzed all 30.1 million births in the United States between 1996 and 2002. They found a strong association between higher rates of birth defects among women whose last menstrual period was in April, May, June or July and elevated levels of nitrates, atrazine and other pesticides in surface water during those same months.

The data showed a statistically significant correlation between the last menstrual period and higher rates of birth defects for half of 22 categories of birth defects, including spina bifida, cleft lip, clubfoot and Down's syndrome.

"Elevated concentrations of pesticides and other agrochemicals in surface water during April through July coincided with significantly higher risk of birth defects in live births conceived by women whose last menstrual period began in the same months," study first author Dr. Paul Winchester, professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said in a school news release. "While our study didn't prove a cause and effect link, the fact that birth defects and pesticides in surface water peak during the same four months makes us suspect that the two are related," he said.

It's long been believed that these chemicals pose a threat to developing embryos, but this is the first study to make the connection between birth defects and elevated levels of pesticides at the time of conception, the authors said. The study is in the April issue of the journal Acta Paediatrica.

"Birth defects, which affect about three out of 100 newborns in the U.S., are one of the leading causes of infant death. What we are most excited about is that if our suspicions are right, and pesticides are contributing to birth defect risk, we can reverse or modify the factors that are causing these lifelong and often very serious medical problems," Winchester said.

Known risk factors for birth defects include alcohol use, smoking, diabetes, and advanced age among pregnant women. But even mothers who didn't have these risk factors had higher overall birth defect rates for babies conceived from April to July, the study found.

"These observations by Dr. Winchester are extremely important, as they raise the question for the first time regarding the potential adverse effect of these commonly used chemicals on pregnancy outcome -- the health and well-being of our children," Dr. James Lemons, a professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, said in the news release.

More information

The March of Dimes has more about birth defects.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Indiana University School of Medicine, news release, March 30, 2009

Last Updated: March 31, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com