The February 2014 issue of Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology is available and you may access the table of contents online. Members who subscribe to BDR may access the full articles via the Teratology website using your member login information.
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In this issue:
Sex differences in several specific congenital anomalies (CA) have been well documented. However, initial observations were limited to one or a few specific diagnoses within small selected patient groups, and the contributions of other risk factors with known associations with CAs and possible links to sex differentiation such as maternal age, smoking, diabetes, and epilepsy were not examined.
In a study published in this issue of the BDRA journal, Rachel Sokal et al. aimed to estimate sex ratios in specific major CA diagnoses using a large source of routine healthcare data representative of the United Kingdom (UK) population and to examine the effects of socio-demographic and maternal factors on these ratios. In addition, the direction and magnitude of the sex ratio estimates were compared with those of previously published population-based studies obtained from a systematic search of the published literature. The study confirms the greater risk for males to be born with major CAs and additionally highlights substantial variation in this risk by system-specific subgroup and specific diagnosis. Interestingly, socio-demographic and maternal factors that have been shown to affect the prevalence of CAs had no effect on the relationship between CAs and sex. The large population and pooled analyses in this study provide an increased statistical confidence in many of these estimates and thus may give further clues as to the causative mechanisms of CAs and means of prevention.