Increasing Prevalence of Gastroschisis: Population-based Study in California

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To evaluate time trend of gastroschisis and examine the epidemiological risk factors for gastroschisis.

Study design

This population-based study analyzed the active surveillance data from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program from 1987 to 2003.


The overall birth prevalence of gastroschisis was 2.6 cases per 10,000 births (908 cases in >3.5 million births). In the adjusted analysis, by using the age of 25 to 29 years as the reference, mothers aged 12 to 15 years had a 4.2-times greater birth prevalence (95% CI, 2.5-7.0), and fathers aged 16 to 19 years and 20 to 24 years had 1.6- and 1.5-times greater birth prevalence (95% CI, 1.1-2.1 and 1.2-1.8), respectively. Compared with non-Hispanic whites and US-born Hispanic, both foreign-born Hispanics and blacks had adjusted prevalence ratio of 0.6 (95% CI, 0.5-0.7 and 0.4-0.9, respectively). In addition, nulliparity was also associated with gastroschisis. Independent of maternal age, paternal age, and maternal ethnicity, the birth prevalence increased 3.2-fold (95% CI, 2.3-4.3) during the 17-year study period.


The birth prevalence of gastroschisis continues to increase in California, and young, nulliparous women are at the greatest risk of having a child with gastroschisis.

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