Goldenhar syndrome among infants born in military hospitals to Gulf War veterans.
Reports in the popular press described the occurrence of Goldenhar syndrome among children of Persian Gulf War veterans (GWVs). The objective of this investigation was to compare the birth prevalence of Goldenhar syndrome among infants born in military hospitals to GWVs and to military personnel who were not deployed to the Gulf War (NDVs). Computerized hospital discharge data were reviewed for infants conceived after the war and born prior to the 1st of October, 1993, in medical treatment facilities (MTFs) operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. Medical records were evaluated for infants diagnosed at birth with at least one abnormality that might be related to Goldenhar syndrome. Two pediatricians, blinded to the parental Gulf War status of each infant, reviewed records. An estimated 75,414 infants were conceived after the Gulf War and born in MTFs during the study period (34,069 GWV infants and 41,345 NDV infants). Seven infants fulfilled the case criteria (five GWV infants and two NDV infants). All infants had fathers who served in the military at the time of their conception and birth. The birth prevalence was 14.7 per 100,000 live births among GWV infants (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.4-36.4) and 4.8 per 100,000 live births (95% CI: 0.8-19.5) among NDV infants (relative risk: 3.03; 95% CI: 0.63-20.57; P values: [2-tailed] = 0.26, [1-tailed] = 0.16). The few affected cases and the broad confidence intervals surrounding the relative risk require that these results be interpreted with caution and do not exclude chance as an explanation for these findings.
Araneta, MR; Moore, CA; Olney, RS; Edmonds, LD; Karcher, JA; McDonough, C; Hiliopoulos, KM; Schlangen, KM; Gray, GC
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