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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More Babies Are Being Born With Intestines Outside Their Bodies

Scientists don't know why the U.S. has seen a spike in babies born with a condition that causes their intestines to form outside their bodies.

By Ben Lawson | January 22, 2016

More and more babies are being born with a condition that causes their intestines to be born outside of their bodies, and officials aren't sure why. 

Gastroschisis is a rare birth defect in which a newborn's intestines protrude from a hole near his or her umbilical cord. It occurs in about 5 of every 10,000 babies born. 

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found increases in the condition for every demographic over the last 18 years.

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That includes the number of cases more than doubling in babies born to teenage African-American mothers, as well as a 30 percent increase in the number of cases overall between 2006 and 2012.

The condition is treatable with surgery, but infants can continue to have problems eating and digesting food. 

A report from the CDC did say it was more common in babies born to mothers with a low body mass index and poor nutrition and those who use alcohol or drugs or smoke.

However, the CDC doesn't have an answer for what's causing the most recent jump in cases. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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