Birth Weight Determines Birthmark Risk
Reported October 21, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — A new study reveals low birth weight as the most significant factor for the development of common birthmarks called hemangiomas.
We believe the results of this study provide an explanation for this emerging pediatric health issue, Beth Drolet, M.D., professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was quoted as saying.
Based on low birth weight statistics, Dr. Drolet estimates the incidence of hemangiomas in infants has increased by 40 percent in the last 20 years.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Drolet compared 420 children diagnosed with infantile hemangiomas with 353 children less than two years old diagnosed with other skin anomalies. They found the risk for hemangiomas increased as birth weight decreased.
For every 1.1-pound decrease in birth weight, the risk of hemangioma increased by nine-fold, Dr. Drolet said.
In 2005, 8.2 percent of infants born in the United States weighed less than 5.5 pounds — the highest percentage recorded since 1968.
Other risk factors for hemangiomas include being female, being Caucasian and being born prematurely.
Hemangiomas may result in permanent scarring or other medical issues.
SOURCE: Journal of Pediatrics, 2008;