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July 24, 1948

Congesital Malformations: A Study of Parental Characteristics with Special Reference to the Reproductive Process

JAMA. 1948;137(13):1171-1172. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890470071033

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This second edition of this monograph aims to throw additional light on some of the questions which parents of congenitally defective children are likely to ask their doctors. The material for this study represented the families of malformed children who had died. The names were obtained from stillbirth and death certificates in Philadelphia and its environs.

The author concludes that malformations are congenital or environmental in origin. There are only two environmental conditions which lead to malformations, rubella and therapeutic irradiation of the pelvic organs during pregnancy. Rubella early in pregnancy results in a high incidence of malformations of the fetus. Preconceptional rubella probably does no harm to the offspring. In a study of 38 unhealthy children born after postconceptional pelvic irradiation, in 28, or 73.6 per cent, the defect could be definitely attributed to radiation. The majority of them were mentally defective. Although irradiation to the maternal pelvic organs

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