Risk factors for renal agenesis in newborns appears to be multi-factorial. This means that genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors combine to create a person’s risk.
For example, some early studies have linked maternal diabetes, young maternal age, and alcohol use during pregnancy to renal agenesis. More recently, studies have shown prepregnancy obesity, alcohol use, and smoking to be linked to renal agenesis. Binge drinking, or having more than 4 drinks over 2 hours, during the second month of pregnancy also increases risk.
Environmental factors may also result in kidney defects like renal agenesis. For example, maternal medication use, illegal drug use, or exposure to toxins or poisons during pregnancy may be factors.