Monday, October 15, 2012

Study finds that dad’s job can influence birth defects
Although emphasis is often placed on how pregnant women can increase their chances of having a healthy infant, a large population study shows that men also play a role in their unborn child’s health. The new NIEHS-funded study  found that men who worked in certain occupations, around the time of conception, were more likely to father offspring with various birth defects.
Epidemiologist Tania Desrosiers, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, led the research team. Although the study didn’t measure workplace exposures, the findings can be used to generate hypotheses about specific occupations and exposures for future research that incorporates exposure assessment.
The investigators looked for associations between paternal occupation and birth defects, using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study,  which included 9,998 fathers of children with one or more birth defects, and 4,066 fathers of children without birth defects. Many previous studies on this topic have grouped occupations with varied exposures, but the new study individually examined more than 60 types of occupations.

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