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Fetal Risk: Inflammation in womb tied to cerebral palsy

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9:48am, November 25, 2003

For a woman who has carried her baby to term, inflammation of the uterine lining or the membrane surrounding the fetus nearly quadruples the chance that her baby will be born with cerebral palsy, a new study finds. Cerebral palsy normally strikes 1 or 2 children per 1,000 born after full-term pregnancies.

Yvonne W. Wu, a pediatric neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco and her colleagues identified 109 children at least 2 years old with moderate to severe cerebral palsy. As a comparison group, the doctors also studied 218 babies without the condition.

A review of records showed that 14 percent of the cerebral palsy infants had been born to women diagnosed with an inflammation of the uterine lining or fetal membrane shortly before or after giving birth, compared with only 4 percent of the healthy infants in the comparison group, the researchers report in the Nov. 26 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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