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Neural tube defects common among Hispanic infants widespread, Study
Neural tube defects common among Hispanic infants widespread, Study

Neural tube defects common among Hispanic infants widespread, Study

A new study has made a starling finding about Hispanic babies. According to the researchers, the babies of Hispanic mothers are higher risk of developing serious birth defects of the brain and spine called ‘neural tube’ defects.

The major finding has been made in a report released by the March of Dimes.

In this report, the researchers analyzed pregnancy trends in women of different races. They found that Hispanic women had higher rates of brain and spinal birth defects, and premature births. Hispanic women had a preterm birth rate that was 12 percent higher than white women. They were also three times more likely than white women to be pregnant before the age of 17. On top of that, Hispanic women were less likely to finish high school and less likely to have insurance. The combination of these factors could explain why Hispanic women give birth prematurely at before week 37.

When the researchers examined potential causes of neural tube defects, which are defects related to the spinal cord or brain, they reasoned that diet could be playing a huge factor. The team stated that Hispanics tend to eat a lot of corn masa flour. The flour is often not enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid. The researchers found that Hispanic women were also less likely to state that they took multivitamins during pregnancy, which could also affect their baby’s risk of birth defects.

“This is why the March of Dimes is striving to have masa cornmeal fortified with folate,” said Dr. Diana Ramos, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles according to WebMD. “Corn masa flour is not part of the standard American diet, so, since 2012, we’ve been working on this, making progress slowly.”

Agencies/Canadajournal




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    4 comments

    1. I should add that the standard American diet is especially harmful to equatorial peoples whose microbiota is accustomed to a mostly plant based diet. The bacteria in their gut are not geared to a highly refined carbohydrate and high fat diet.
      Northern climate peoples had to be able to get really fat and eat almost anything just to survive the winters.

    2. Since a starling is a small bird, I guess they found one with some babies……?

    3. Besides the misspelled words studies like this that infer that “hispanic” people are a race and not an ethnicity always disturbs me. They compare hispanic to white populations yet hispanic only means that a person’s native language is Spanish and has nothing to do with race. Perhaps they are referring to people who are part native american? This short article doesn’t fill us in on that detail.

    4. Chris Carmichael

      Virtually all research that speaks of “Hispanics” is based on such bad demographic data as to be useless and often a reflection of investigator bias. “Hispanics” are people from the Iberian Peninsula (Hispania in Latin.) Period. Most of the people we call “Hispanics” are a mélange of some Spanish (though little or no Portuguese) ancestry, but mostly Native American. The term was a pejorative created to avoid classifying Spanish-speaking peoples as either Caucasian (which they are) or Native American (which they can also claim.) Thus, when Hispanics is used to characterize a group, it chows either a serious limitation in the demographic data or investigator bias. Otherwise, there would be a reasonable attempt to define those with Iberian ancestry, those who are Native American, and those who are mixed.

      What the investigators have found is much more likely the result of poverty and malnutrition since the “Hispanic” people only exist in Spain and Portugal and as expatriates throughout the world — not as a homogeneous group that the study contends.

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