There is a budding disease that is climbing back up in numbers drastically – the highest since the mid 1990’s, that is now making headlines more than ever in the mid 2010’s. This life-threatening birth defect is called Gastroschisis and it affects about 2,000 newborns each and every year. Hit the jump to read more on the disease.


Gastroschisis is a condition where the babies intestines and sometimes other organs are born outside of the body, protruding from a hole next to the belly button. Anna, Avery, Genevieve, and Ian are among those babies born with the birth defect who are being featured in a story series published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What’s scary is that doctors and researchers are unsure of why more and more babies are being born with the defect, as they have seen percentages climb to 263% from 1995 to 2012.

Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities said this in a news release:

“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.”

The disease is most prevalent among young non-Hispanic black mothers. Although not certain on the reason of increase, research does show young mothers are much more likely to birth a child with gastroschisis.

Peggy Honein, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief, of the Birth Defects Branch at the CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, stated:

“We must continue to monitor changes in this birth defect to identify risk factors contributing to these increases and hopefully start to reverse the trend.”

A CDC report analyzed data from 14 states and compared the disease’s relevance among mothers of every age from 1995 to 2005, to those born between 2006 and 2012. The report’s data suggests that while non-Hispanic white and Hispanic mothers saw an increase in gastroschisis cases, non-Hispanic black mothers who were young saw the greatest increase.