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Rare Birth Defect Is Causing Babies To Be Born With Intestines OUTSIDE: CDC

Update Date: Jan 22, 2016 01:36 PM EST

An increasing number of babies in the US are born with their organs outside the body but the birth defect remains a mystery.

According to The New York Times, the condition called gastroschisis causes babies to be born with intestines outside the abdomen. Sometimes the stomach and the liver may also protrude from a hole next to the navel. While experts know that weak abdominal wall during fetal development can lead to the condition, the underlying cause remains unknown.

"It concerns us that we don't know why more babies are being born with this serious birth defect. Public health research is urgently needed to figure out the cause and why certain women are at higher risk of having a baby born with gastroschisis," said Coleen Boyle, director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

In its latest weekly Morbidity and Mortality report, the CDC pointed that around 2,000 babies are born every year with the defect. In most cases, the defect occurs in babies born to mothers aged under-20.

The LA Times reports that the number of such births increased 263 percent among babies born to black mothers 20 years and younger. The increase is seen across women of all races and ages between 1995 and 2012.

Gastroschisis can be fixed with surgery but it warrants immediate attention as it can be life-threatening. The recovery time of the infant and feeding are concerns post surgery.

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