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1/2. Impact of chemical warfare with agent orange on women's reproductive lives in vietnam: a pilot study.

    During the American war in vietnam, huge quantities of the highly toxic herbicide dioxin ('Agent Orange'), were sprayed over large areas of central and south vietnam. In addition to polluting the environment and causing cancers and other diseases in those directly exposed to it, dioxin has caused high rates of pregnancy loss, congenital birth defects and other health problems in their children. This paper reports the findings of a pilot study in the year 2000 among 30 Vietnamese women whose husbands and/or who themselves were exposed to Agent Orange. The aim was to develop research in order to explore the impact of chemical warfare on people's lives. Using the reproductive lifeline and semi-structured interviews, information was gathered on both partners' periods of exposure to Agent Orange, pregnancy outcomes, perceived health problems of children and experiences of living with handicapped children. The women had had a high number of miscarriages and premature births. About two-thirds of their children had congenital malformations or developed disabilities within the first years of life. Most of the families were poor, aggravated by impaired health in the men, the burden of caring for disabled children, and feelings of guilt and inferiority. The plight of 'Agent Orange families' is special and should be placed in its historical and political context.
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2/2. Congenital neuroblastoma in a boy born to a woman with bipolar disorder treated with carbamazepine during pregnancy.

    1. A metastatic neuroblastoma was detected immediately after birth in a boy born to a 26 year old woman with bipolar disorder, who received carbamazepine (400 mg/day) all through her pregnancy. The primary tumor was probably located in the adrenal gland of the right side, and multiple metastatic lesions were detected in the skin. 2. In this report the authors review the literature about the side effects teratogenic and carcinogenic effects of carbamazepine, the epidemiology and evolution of the neuroblastoma, and the current scientific opinion about the pharmacological treatment of the pregnant with mood disorders. 3. A causal relationship between the use of carbamazepine and the neuroblastoma development in the present case can not be established; however, as the carcinogenic and teratogenic effects of the drug have been basically assessed in epileptic women, our aim is to alert the medical community in order to conduct further research in psychiatric patients.
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