Deformational Plagiocephaly Risk Factors Evaluated

Children's sleep position found to be predictive of location of deformational plagiocephaly
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children's sleep position appears correlated with the location of deformational plagiocephaly (DP), which typically presents as a flat spot on the back of the skull, according to research published online Nov. 16 in Pediatrics.

Jessica L. Joganic, of Arizona State University in Tempe, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 20,000 children in a database of a company that makes orthotic headgear for infants and young children nationwide with cranial deformations. Boys comprised roughly two-thirds of the patient population.

The investigators found that sleep position and lateralization of the DP were significantly correlated with the flat spots appearing on the right and left side in children who sleep on their right and left side, respectively. DP was also associated with primiparity, breech and transverse intrauterine presentation at birth, as well as being a twin.

"When interactions among factors are examined together, DP risk seems to be associated with males, firstborns, low birth weight, breech or transverse intrauterine presentation, and multiple birth infants, specifically dizygotic twins. However, independent of these biological and environmental factors, it seems that sleep position is the best predictor of DP," the authors conclude. "Thus, future research must be designed a priori to resolve the interactions among environmental factors for effective prevention, rather than simply treatment."

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