Pilot study of congenital anomaly rates at birth in Fallujah, Iraq, 2010
Keywords:Fallujah, Iraq, congenital anomaly, contamination, heavy metals, depleted uranium
Objectives: To examine numbers of congenital anomaly (CA) at birth overall and by class in one clinic in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah, Iraq.
Study Design: All congenital anomaly birth referrals to one pediatric clinician at Fallujah General Hospital for an eleven month period beginning November 1, 2009 were recorded. This clinic was one of three clinics to which cases would be referred.
Results: There were 291 CA cases registered at birth in the period at the study’s clinic. The total number of births recorded in the hospital over the period was 6049. The CAs included 113 heart and circulatory system cases, 72 nervous system cases, 40 digestive system cases, 9 genitourinary cases, 6 ear, face and neck cases, 7 respiratory cases and 30 Down syndrome cases.
Conclusion: Owing to difficulties establishing the exact number of births from which these cases were drawn, the exact rates cannot be precisely determined. Nevertheless, on the basis of reasonable assumptions relating to the activity of the clinic involved, these results support earlier epidemiological findings. On the basis of work reported elsewhere, the higher rates of congenital anomalies are believed to be caused by exposure to some genotoxic agent, possibly uranium.
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