Heat waves tied to higher rates of early-term de­liv­er­ies

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

Preg­nant women may face in­creased risk for ear­lyterm de­liv­ery dur­ing heat waves, ac­cord­ing to a large new study from Canada. Re­searchers an­a­lyzed data from 300,000 births in Mon­treal be­tween 1981 and 2010, and also looked at sum­mer tem­per­a­tures that oc­curred dur­ing those years.

The Univer­sity of Mon­treal team found that the risk of ear­lyterm birth (37 weeks to 38 weeks’ ges­ta­tion) was 27 per­cent higher when tem­per­a­tures were 32 de­grees Cel­sius (about 90 de­grees Fahren­heit) or above for four to seven days. The risk was 17 per­cent higher when it was that hot for three days.

Hot weather had lit­tle ef­fect on the risk of preterm birth (less than 37 weeks ges­ta­tion), ac­cord­ing to the study pub­lished on­line re­cently in the jour­nal Epi­demi­ol­ogy.

While the harm­ful ef­fects of hot weather on se­niors are well known, there has been lit­tle re­search into how it af­fects preg­nant women, said study leader Nathalie Auger, of the univer­sity’s depart­ment of so­cial and pre­ven­tive medicine.

She said that some small stud­ies sug­gest that hot weather may af­fect the uterus in ways that can trig­ger early-term de­liv­ery.

The find­ings are im­por­tant be­cause early-term ba­bies are at in­creased risk for health prob­lems, Auger noted.

“Stud­ies have shown that chil­dren born at 37 or 38 weeks suf­fer more re­s­pi­ra­tory prob­lems com­pared with chil­dren born at term,” she said in a univer­sity news re­lease. “Early-term new­borns are also at greater risk of death.”

Al­though the study found a con­nec­tion be­tween sum­mer heat waves and higher risk of ear­lyterm preg­nancy in women, it did not prove a cause-and-ef­fect re­la­tion­ship.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.