Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study shows connection between birth weights and armed conflict

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
A new study shows pregnant women exposed to armed conflict have a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies.

A new study shows pregnant women exposed to armed conflict have a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies, a result that could change the way aid is delivered to developing countries.

Related Articles


"From a development side we need to ask, `Who is the population we should be focusing on?'" said Hani Mansour, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who conducted the study with Daniel Rees, Ph.D., a CU Denver professor of economics. "Our results provide another reason why pregnant women deserve special attention when armed conflict breaks out."

The study, the first to examine the relationship between prenatal exposure to armed conflict and birth weight, will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Development Economics and is available to view online.

The research focused on a major uprising in the West Bank.

The Second Intifada, which began in September 2000, had claimed the lives of more than 4,000 Palestinians by 2005.Mansour and Rees drew on data from the Palestinian Demographic and Health Survey, which was collected by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics approximately four years after the start of the uprising. These data were matched with data on Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank collected by B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.

"We find that an additional conflict-related fatality nine to six months before birth is associated with an increase in the probability of having a low-birth weight child," Mansour said. "Psychological stress is a plausible explanation for this relationship, although we cannot rule out malnutrition."

The professors examined a sample of 1,224 births to women living in the West Bank.Conflict exposure in utero was measured by the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the district where the mother lived.

The authors controlled for a variety of potentially confounding variables including education of the mother and father, mother's age when she gave birth, father's occupation, birth order, gender of the baby, number of prenatal care visits, whether a curfew was in place, and self-reported anemia.

Because they control for anemia, the professors believe that psychological stress, as opposed to malnutrition, is the likely mechanism behind low birth weight.In addition, they note that previous studies have shown that exposure to earthquakes and terrorist attacks in the early stages of pregnancy can lead to low birth weight.

Rees and Mansour said they had no political agenda going into their research.They chose to study the impact of the Second Intifada "because of the quality of the data and the fact that mobility was very low in the West Bank during this period."

The authors noted that, "armed conflict is often associated with migration, which would complicate this type of analysis."According to Mansour, who was born in Haifa, Israel, "fully 94 percent of the mothers in our sample had not moved to a new community since the start of the Intifada."

Rees and Mansour plan to follow up by examining whether intrauterine exposure to armed conflict affects longer-term outcomes in educational attainment and test scores.

The authors said their findings had implications well beyond the West Bank and should be considered by policymakers around the world.

"At a minimum our results are consistent with those of medical studies showing a positive association between self-reported stress and low birth rate, and suggest a heretofore unexplored rationale for intervention when armed conflict occurs," they said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Study shows connection between birth weights and armed conflict." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118132332.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2012, January 25). Study shows connection between birth weights and armed conflict. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118132332.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Study shows connection between birth weights and armed conflict." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118132332.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins