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Can Med Assoc J. 1963 Jul 20;89(3):120-6.

Congenital Abnormalities in Children Born in Alberta During 1961: A Survey and a Hypothesis.


In Alberta, the provincial average for neonatal congenital physical abnormalities discovered at birth increased from 7.9 per 1000 births in 1959 to 13.8 per 1000 births in 1961.Drugs taken by mothers during pregnancy were tabulated, including the antiemetic and tranquillizer agents, but no relationship was demonstrated between their use and damage to the fetus.A significant relation was apparent, however, between the incidence of congenital malformations and the extent of precipitation in the area concerned. In Northern Alberta, where precipitation is highest, 15.5 per 1000 children born in 1961 showed physical defects. In Southern Alberta, where precipitation is lowest, 11.9 children per 1000 births were born with physical defects.Increases of radioactive dust containing cesium-137, cerium-144 and strontium-90 were associated with above-ground Soviet thermonuclear Arctic explosions during recent years. The hypothesis is advanced that children born in Alberta in 1962 will show a greater incidence of physical deformities than those born in 1961, owing to greater rainfall during 1961 and 1962.


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