Warmer temperatures during pregnancy reduces birth weight

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Heading to a place with cooler climate can help pregnant women deliver a full term baby with higher birth weight, a research suggests.

“We found that exposure to high air temperature during pregnancy increases the risk of lower birth weight and can cause pre-term birth,” said Itai Kloog, senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel.

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“An increase of 8.5 degrees Celsius 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 researchers from BGU and Harvard University evaluated the relationship between birth outcomes (focusing on birth weight) and ambient air temperature during pregnancy in Massachusetts in the US between 2000 and 2008.

“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 said.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.