Colorado study: No common cause of birth defects

DENVER — A state study of birth defects detected in fetuses in Garfield County has found no underlying cause for the problems.

Colorado’s chief medical officer, Larry Wolk, announced today that the investigation looked at 22 rare anomalies detected by ultrasounds in Garfield County in late 2013.

Some had suspected that the defects could be the result of the growth of oil and natural gas drilling in the county.

State epidemiologists looked at more than a dozen factors, including where the babies were conceived, drinking water sources, smoking and alcohol use and proximity to active oil and gas wells.

The health department said there were various anomalies reported. They included heart and chromosomal problems as well as molar pregnancies, which occurs when an abnormal growth, rather than a fetus, develops in the uterus.


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