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Birth weight affected by warm temperatures during pregnancy

Date:
June 9, 2015
Source:
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Summary:
Exposure to high air temperature during pregnancy increases the risk of lower birth weight and can cause preterm birth, new research shows. This study suggests that warming temperatures on the planet may affect birth weights in the future.
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Harvard University researchers have developed a technique that measures the correlation between air temperature and birth weight. They evaluated the relationship between birth outcomes (focusing on birth weight) and ambient air temperature during pregnancy in Massachusetts between 2000 and 2008.

"We found that exposure to high air temperature during pregnancy increases the risk of lower birth weight and can cause preterm birth," according to Dr. Itai Kloog, a senior lecturer in BGU's Department of Geography and Environmental Development. "An increase of 8.5 °C in the last trimester of average exposure was associated with a 17g decrease in birth weight of babies born full term after adjusting for other potential risk factors."

The paper, "Using Satellite-Based Spatiotemporal Resolved Air Temperature Exposure to Study the Association between Ambient Air Temperature and Birth Outcomes in Massachusetts" was recently published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.

Together with his colleagues, Dr. Kloog developed a "high resolution air temperature estimation model" to predict daily air temperature by kilometer and address level exposure during various prenatal exposure periods from date of conception through birth for each mother.

"With the increase in temperatures over the last century and continued emissions from greenhouse gases, more attention is being focused on effects from heat," Kloog says.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Itai Kloog, Steven J. Melly, Brent A. Coull, Francesco Nordio, Joel D. Schwartz. Using Satellite-Based Spatiotemporal Resolved Air Temperature Exposure to Study the Association between Ambient Air Temperature and Birth Outcomes in Massachusetts. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1308075

Cite This Page:

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Birth weight affected by warm temperatures during pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609113816.htm>.
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (2015, June 9). Birth weight affected by warm temperatures during pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609113816.htm
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Birth weight affected by warm temperatures during pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609113816.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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