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BMJ. 1996 Oct 12;313(7062):903-6.

Congenital anterior abdominal wall defects in England and Wales 1987-93: retrospective analysis of OPCS data.

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  • 1Academic Department of Obstetrics, University of Birmingham.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Analysis of incidence and characteristics of congenital abdominal wall defects, with special reference to the differences between the incidence of gastroschisis and exomphalos (omphalocele).

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis using data from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (recoded to differentiate exomphalos and gastroschisis) and the National Congenital Malformation Notification Scheme.

SETTING:

England and Wales, 1987 to 1993.

RESULTS:

1043 congenital anterior abdominal wall defects were notified within the seven year study period. Of these, 539 were classified as gastroschisis, 448 as exomphalos, 19 as "prune belly syndrome," and 37 as "unclassified." Gastroschisis doubled in incidence from 0.65 in 1987 to 1.35 per 10,000 total births in 1991, with little further change; the incidence of exomphalos decreased from 1.13 to 0.77 per 10000 births. The overall incidence of notified congenital abdominal wall defects was 2.15 per 10000 total births. Gastroschisis was associated with a lower overall maternal age than exomphalos and with a significantly lower proportion of additional reported congenital malformations (5.0%) than in the cohort with exomphalos (27.4%) (odds ratio 0.14, 95% confidence interval 0.09 to 0.22; P < 0.001). The sex ratio of the two cohorts was the same. The incidence of gastroschisis and exomphalos was higher in the northern regions of England than in the south east of the country.

CONCLUSIONS:

The national congenital malformation notification system showed an increasing trend in the incidence of fetuses born with gastroschisis and a progressive decreasing incidence of exomphalos in England and Wales between 1987 and 1993. Although the reasons for this are likely to be multifactorial, a true differential change seems likely. The observed increase in incidence of gastroschisis relative to exomphalos and the differentiation in maternal age have implications for resource management within the NHS and warrant further epidemiological monitoring. Regional differences may be due to a dietary or environmental factor, which requires further study.

PMID:
8876090
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2352268
Free PMC Article
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