Reducing the Risk of Preventable Birth Defects
While over 20% of congenital malformations are genetically caused, a similar number are thought to be multifactorial in origin and the cause of over 50% of malformations remains unknown (Toufaily et al., 2018). MotherToBaby helps geneticists identify modifiable risk factors for birth defects, giving you the chance to educate your patients to take preventative action. We can assist you by surveying the current scientific literature on environmental exposures of interest and provide you and your patient with evidence-based summaries of risk potential during pregnancy and lactation. This information can serve to lessen worry for people about necessary or accidental exposures during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Although genetic factors contribute to birth defects risk, environmental (i.e., non-genetic) factors influence the risk for birth defects as well. Some of these environmental risk factors are recognized as strong teratogens, such as maternal rubella infection and use of the medications thalidomide or isotretinoin during pregnancy. Identification of environmental teratogens provides an opportunity for prevention activities.— Tinker et al., 2015
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