February 5, 2023

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Dutch Limburg seeks explanation for excessive congenital malformations |  Abroad

Dutch Limburg seeks explanation for excessive congenital malformations | Abroad

The Dutch province of Limburg will speak to researchers from Maastricht University to find out why there are so many birth defects in Limburg. This number is much higher than in the rest of the Netherlands, according to a study by Maastricht University in May. The researchers were unable to provide a direct explanation for this. The county would still like to know and will once again enter into discussions with the university.

“The research confirms that the risk of congenital malformations in Limburg is 34 per cent higher than in the rest of the Netherlands,” Madeleine Van Tornberg, Limburg Deputy (CDA) to the regional councils, wrote. “The increased risk ranges from 14 percent for chromosomal abnormalities to up to 72 percent for abnormalities of the kidneys, urinary tract and reproductive organs. Only the risk of skeletal and muscular abnormalities does not appear to be increased in Limburg compared to the rest of the Netherlands.”

“In addition to congenital malformations, premature birth and/or low birth weight are more common in Limburg than in the rest of the Netherlands. This means that the risk of a less promising onset for children in Limburg is greater than in other provinces of the Netherlands.”

“Confidence,” Van Tornberg said. Anyway, you want an answer to the question why this is so. Regional differences in age, migration, parental socioeconomic background, number of previous multiple pregnancies, and air quality do not seem to explain the increased deviation. Lifestyle and water quality cannot be compared, because Limburg data are insufficient or only available. However, there is an increased risk of a birth defect for all children of mothers older than 30 years. This also applies to children of poor parents.

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According to Van Toorenburg, the county wants to implement a policy to reduce birth defects, but first a clear explanation is needed.