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Pregnant women over 35 reduce the risk of having malformed babies by 40 per cent

Tuesday, March 11, 2014    

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WOMEN who give birth over age of 35 reduce the risk of having a congenitally malformed baby by 40 per cent, a study has shown.

Researchers from Washington University in St Louis, US, studied data taken from the second trimester ultrasound tests of 76,000 women comparing their ages and incidences of malformations.

One theory is that a defective foetus is less likely to survive the early stages of pregnancy if the woman is older.

"Overall, we found that advanced maternal age was associated with a 40 per cent decreased risk of having a child with one or more major congenital malformations," the research said.

"The incidence of brain, kidney and abdominal-wall defects was decreased, while incidence of heart defects was unchanged."

Congenital malformations include spina bifida, cleft palates, club feet, harelips and hydrocephalus or water on the brain.

These days, many serious abnormalities are picked up during pregnancy scans giving women the option of having a termination.

Previous studies have suggested older mothers have children who are less healthy as adults, because their bodies have already degenerated due to physiological effects — such as a weakened placenta.

— Daily Mail

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