Posted on March 22nd, 2007
Maternal periconceptional use of electric bed-heating devices and risk for neural tube defects and orofacial clefts
Electric and magnetic fields are of concern as risk factors for adverse reproductive outcomes, including congenital anomalies. Among residential exposures to electric and magnetic fields, electric bed-heating devices such as electric blankets may be a substantial source of such exposures, and their use is fairly common. Two population-based case-control studies were analyzed to investigate whether the periconceptional use of electric blankets, bed warmers, or electrically heated waterbeds increased the risk of women to deliver infants or fetuses with neural tube defects (NTDs) or orofacial clefts.
Iinformation was obtained on bed-heating devices from 538 NTD cases and their 539 controls in one study, and 265 NTD cases and 481 controls and 652 orofacial cleft cases and their 734 controls from another study.
Results revealed a few modestly elevated risks of certain anomaly phenotypes with maternal use of certain bed-heating devices, but risks tended to be imprecise. In general, women who reported more frequent use of a bed-heating device, or longer duration of use, did not appear to have a higher risk for delivering offspring with anomalies than were women who reported less frequent or shorter-duration use.
Note: Abstract available at
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/63501094/ABSTRACT [verified 22 March 2007]
- Shaw GM, Nelson V, Todoroff K, Wasserman CR, Neutra RR. Maternal periconceptional use of electric bed-heating devices and risk for neural tube defects and orofacial clefts. California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Emeryville, California 94608, USA. Teratology. 1999 Sep;60(3):124-9 [↩]
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