The Distribution of Gastroschisis in Manitoba
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Introduction: There is a reported increase in prevalence of gastroschisis worldwide. In addition, there are a significant number of hot spots identified in the current literature. The etiology for this increase is largely unknown at this time. It is postulated that one of these notable hot spots is in Northern Manitoba where the prevalence of gastroschisis is higher when compared to the rest of the province and country. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study and identified cases of gastroschisis through provincial databases and medical records. They were referenced with postal codes and birth rates according to region. Results: The results demonstrate a 2 to 3 fold increase in prevalence of gastroschisis in the Northern regions of Manitoba when compared to rates in Southern Manitoba. Conclusion: We successfully identified hot spots in Manitoba that have an increased prevalence of gastroschisis. A variety of risk factors have been identified as etiologies for gastrocschisis. Future research efforts will include further investigations in the population of Northern Manitoba and analysis of specific maternal and geographic considerations that could explain the increase in prevalence.