Non-syndromic craniosynostosis is multifactorial, and fetal head constraint has been hypothesized as one factor thought to play a role. Data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a large multi-site case-control study of birth defects, were used to evaluate associations between four selected factors related to fetal constraint and craniosynostosis: plurality (twins or higher), macrosomia (birth weight >4,000 g), post-term gestational age (> or =42 weeks), and nulliparity (no previous live births). Case infants (n = 675) had craniosynostosis documented either by radiographic evidence or by surgical intervention. Infants with a recognized or strongly suspected single-gene conditions or chromosomal abnormalities were excluded. Control infants (n = 5,958) had no major birth defects and were randomly selected from the same population as case infants. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios for the association between these four factors and craniosynostosis, while adjusting for several covariates. We found that plurality and nulliparity were associated with a twofold increased risk for metopic craniosynostosis, and macrosomia had almost twice the risk of developing coronal craniosynostosis. Contrary to our hypothesis, prematurity and low birth weight were also associated with craniosynostosis. In conclusion, these four constraint-related factors were not found to be associated with craniosynostosis when all suture types were combined, though some types of craniosynostosis were associated with individual constraint-related factors.
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