More kids being born with flattened heads

Last Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: The prevalence of an asymmetrical flattening of the skull seems to be increasing among infants and young children.

"Plagiocephaly (flattened head) is characterised by unilateral flattening of the head either in the frontal or occipital (rear) region," a study`s authors write.

"The presence of plagiocephaly has reportedly increased since 1992 while the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) recommended that infants be put to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, although the plagiocephaly is then an acquired and not congenital condition," they wrote.

Reviewing data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry, Shane U. Sheu, from the Texas Department of State Health Services, and colleagues tracked reported cases of plagiocephaly from 1999 to 2007, reports the journal Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

During this time, reported cases of plagiocephaly increased more than nine-fold, from three cases per 10,000 live births to 28.8 cases.

This resulted in 6,295 total cases with a definite diagnosis and was equivalent to an average annual increase of 21.2 percent per year.