Low Birth Weight of Vietnamese Infants: Article Analysis

Date:  2021-03-10 23:07:51
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This article analyzes the causes of low birth weight in infants in Vietnam. The authors believe that the cause of low birth weight is as a result of the use of herbicides during the Vietnamese war that took place 45 years ago. To prove these allegations, an experiment was conducted. The analysis was carried out to examine the relationship between maternal glucocorticoid and dioxin congeners in the breast milk of a pregnant woman. The hypothesis is drawn from the group of doctors who conducted the experiment was factual since investigations were carried out. Some women and infants were selected to serve as samples in the experiment. The pairs were chosen from the regions that were affected and those regions that were not affected.

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The methods that were used during the experiment involved the use of HRGC-HRMS to measure the dioxin levels in the maternal breast milk. The other method that was used was the LC-MS/MS which was to determine the levels of glucocorticoid in saliva. The two methods related well since the only determiner was the infants about the mothers' milk. The methods formed the basis of a comprehensive analysis, without which determining the levels of dioxin from the maternal milk were not possible.

The results of the experiment that was conducted revealed some things. First, there were high levels of dioxin in the breast milk of women from the regions marked as a hotspot. On the other hand, the dioxin levels in the breast milk of the mothers from the controlled area were small (Van Tung D, 2016). The results showed that mothers from the region most affected by the herbicides during the war stood at two fivefold higher than those in mothers from the control region. It was noted that the newborns whose birth weight comprised of less than 2500g were 12% higher in the hotspot region as compared to the 4% in the controlled region. The weight of the newborns was similarly low in the hotspot areas. The glucocorticoid levels in the saliva of the mothers from the hotspot region were high. The dioxin levels differentiated this significant increase in these levels. There is a relationship between the low birth weight of the Vietnamese infants and dioxin congener levels and glucocorticoid levels in the mothers. The conclusion was that excess maternal glucocorticoid levels led to an insufficiency of dioxin congener which prompted low birth weight (Van Tung D, 2016).

The experiment that was conducted was relevant to the study of why a majority of infants from Vietnam recorded low birth weight. The preliminary results showed it was related to the war that occurred 45 years ago. So why is this study so significant? For one, the study will assist in finding reasons for the occurrence of low birth weight. Secondly, the scientists and doctors can find a solution to counter the issue by deriving formulas and a cure. Thirdly, mothers from the hot spot region will be able to seek constant advice on their way of life during pregnancy. The study also attempts to find clues for the occurrence of high dioxin congener levels in women from the hot spot region. Besides, the article relates war as the cause of low birth weight in infants.


Van Tung D, e. (2016). Low birth weight of Vietnamese infants is related to their mother's dioxin and glucocorticoid levels. - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 3 March 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26898930

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