Using GIS methods to assess the occurrence of neural tube defect births by residential proximity at conception to hazardous waste sites
In the United States, approximately 4,000 pregnancies each year are affected by the two most common birth defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. Studies have shown that exposure to environmental chemicals before and after conception may adversely affect reproduction by inducing cell death or dysfunction, which leads to infertility, fetal loss, lowered weight at birth, or birth anomalies in the offspring. The objective of the study was to evaluate the relationship between Neural Tube Defect births and residence at conception in proximity to hazardous waste sites in the Texas-Mexico border region between 1993 and 2000. The study design was a nested matched case-control and utilized secondary data from a project, “The role of chemical and biological factors in the etiology of neural tube birth defects births along the Texas-Mexico Border” (Irina Cech, Principal Investigator). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database methods were used to compare Neural Tube Defects cases to controls on status of conception residence occurring within a one-mile radius from hazardous waste sites, as compared to conception residence further away. Information on the exposures was obtained from the OnTarget Database and Environment Protection Agency website. Conditional logistic regression was used for the matched case-control study to investigate the relationship between an outcome of being a case or a control and proximity to hazardous waste sites. The result of the study showed a 36 percent non-significant increased risk of having an NTD birth associated with maternal proximity to abandoned hazardous waste sites (95% CI = 0.62–3.02). In addition, there was a 24% non-significant elevated risk of having an NTD birth when living in proximity to air pollutant sites than when living further away (95% CI = 0.67–2.32). Although this study did not find statistically significant associations, it will expand on the existing knowledge of the relationship between NTD and proximity to hazardous waste sites.
Public health|Environmental science
Al-Hashimi, Radhiya Yahya, "Using GIS methods to assess the occurrence of neural tube defect births by residential proximity at conception to hazardous waste sites" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3183165.