chemical stress

Vaccinated Moms Pass on Less Natural Immunity to Their Babies

Babies of mothers who were vaccinated against measles are more susceptible to the disease than babies of mothers who did not receive the measles vaccination, according to an article in the journal Pediatrics.

The study looked at 128 unvaccinated infants, aged 15 months. All the children had been exposed to measles between 1990 and 1992. Infants whose mothers were born after the onset of the measles vaccination program (1963) were 21% more likely to develop measles, compared with children of mothers who did not receive the measles vaccine. These results indicate that unvaccinated mothers pass on a higher level of natural immunity to their infants, compared with vaccinated mothers. The study's authors note that their findings may partially explain the rise in measles cases during recent year.

Papania M, Baughman AL, Lee S, Cheek JE et. al.   Increased susceptibility to measles in infants in the United States   Pediatrics 1999 (Nov);   104 (5):   e59

Antibiotic Use in Pregnancy Linked to Allergy Related Symptoms in Child.

A study of British children suggests that women who have an infection or take antibiotics during pregnancy are more likely to have a child with an allergy-related condition such as asthma, hay fever or eczema. Researchers at the University of Nottingham evaluated the medical records of nearly 25,000 British children and their mothers. The study found that children exposed to antibiotics in the womb had a higher risk of developing asthma, hay fever and eczema than did children whose mothers did not take the medication during pregnancy. Because a person's immune system develops while he or she is still in the womb, some experts speculate that factors that modify microbial exposure at this time may have a long-term effect on the risk of developing allergic disease.

Amer. J. Respiratory and Critical Care Med., 2002;   166:   827-832

Cigarette Smoke Linked to Damage Before Birth

Sudden infant death syndrome has been related to both exposure to prenatal cigarette smoke and impaired arousability from sleep. Researchers in the Journal of Pediatrics found newborns and infants born to smoking mothers had higher sleep arousal thresholds to auditory challenges than those born to nonsmoking mothers. The impact of exposure to cigarette smoke occurred before birth.

Franco P, Groswasser J, Hassid S, Lanquart JP, Scaillet S, Kahn A   Prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking is associated with a decrease in arousal in infants   J Pediatr. 1999 (Jul);   135 (1):   34-38

Chlorinated Water ups Risk of Birth Defects

A study of 141,077 children demonstrates that chlorinated water increases the risk of birth defects. Scientists poured through data on water quality and incidence of birth defects in 366 regions throughout Norway between 1993 and 1995. Overall, 1.8% of the newborns studied had birth defects. However, infants born in areas where water supplies were heavily chlorinated and had high levels of organic material were 14% more likely to have birth defects than babies born in areas with cleaner, less chlorinated water. This association was strongest for birth defects of the urinary tract. Specifically, babies born in regions with water supplies high in chlorine and organic material were twice as likely to experience this type of birth defect, compared with infants born in regions with less chlorinated water supplies.

Magnus P, Jaakkola JJK, Skrondal A, Alexander J et. al.   Water chlorination and birth defects   Epidemiology 1999 (Sep);   10 (5):   513-517

Smoking During Pregnancy Associated with ADHD

Mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy put their children at risk of developing ADHD, according to the current issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood. Researchers found that children with ADHD and coordination problems were more than twice as likely to have a mother who smoked during gestation, compared with children who did not have ADHD. Many subjects with ADHD also experienced language problems (65% compared to 16% of childrenwithout the disorder.) the study evaluated 113 Swedish 6-year olds, including 62 who had been diagnosed with ADHD plus deficits in motor control and perception.

Oral Contraceptives and Bone Mass

Young women who exercise regularly and use oral contraceptives may not get the boost in bone strength seen in women who exercise and do not use oral contraceptives. A recent study showed that while regular resistance training and aerobic exercise over a two-year period strengthened bones in women aged 18 to 31, oral contraceptives appeared to prevent the buildup of bone density. The findings suggest that women who take oral contraceptives may be compromising their chances of attaining peak bone mass, according to Dr. Connie M. Weaver of Purdue University. Women who did not use oral contraceptives had higher bone mineral content at skeletal sites throughout their body at two years compared with women who used oral contraceptives.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2001;   33:   873-880