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Prevalence Of 'Flattened Head' In Infants And Young Children Appears To Be Increasing - featured April 5, 2011

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[Source: ScienceDaily.com]

The prevalence of plagiocephaly, a condition marked by an asymmetrical, flattening of the skull, appears to be increasing in infants and young children, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Plagiocephaly is characterized by unilateral flattening of the head either in the frontal or occipital [rear] region," the authors write as background information in the study. "The presence of plagiocephaly has reportedly increased since 1992 while the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that infants be put to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, although the plagiocephaly is then an acquired and not congenital condition."

Reviewing data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry, Shane U. Sheu, M.P.H., from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, and colleagues tracked reported cases of plagiocephaly from 1999 to 2007. During this time, reported cases of plagiocephaly increased more than 9-fold, from three cases per 10,000 live births to 28.8 cases. This resulted in 6,295 total cases with a definite diagnosis and was equivalent to an average annual increase of 21.2 percent per year. A large portion of the increase came from the Dallas/Fort Worth region where the prevalence of plagiocephaly increased 23.2 times, from 2.6 cases per 10,000 live births in 1999 to 60.5 cases in 2007.

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Tags: News of the Week Plagiocephaly Newsletter 8 April 2011