Sir Liam Donaldson has informed all UK doctors on page 3 of Chief Medical Officer's Report to Doctors [Winter 2005, Issue 43] of:
"a worring increase in the prevalence of gastroschisis, serious congenital anomaly in which part of the abdominal wall is missing, allowing intestines and other organs to protrude. The number of cases has almost trebled in the last 10 years..."
Sir Liam added: "The cause is unkown.........." and called for "more research into the underlying causes and the reasons behind the recent increase in cases".
The ONS reported 132 cases of gastroschisis in England & Wales during 2003, out of 624,816 recorded births, ie a rate of 2.1 cases per 10,000 births.
The gastroscisis rates in Wales during recent years are far higher than the 2003 England & Wales rate as can be seen from the Western Mail article of 19 March 2005 which reflects the greater volume of PM2.5s released in Wales, which has already made it the asthma capital of the world and now looks likely to become the birth defect capital as well.