Climate change linked to serious pregnancy risks, 'landmark' study finds
An environmental health investigation published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) finds compelling evidence that links global climate change to negative pregnancy outcomes across the country.
The review analyzed 68 U.S. studies dating back to 2007 – which included over 32 million births.
84 percent of the births showed a statistically significant association between increased air pollution and heat exposure (related to climate change) and serious risks for pregnancy – specifically preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
“We spend so much time trying to reduce complications in obstetrics and improve outcomes, that to me this is a landmark study," said Dr. Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD, past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), current CEO/founder of the Environmental Health Leadership Foundation, and president-elect of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
“[The investigation shows] that there is a clear association of prenatal exposure of air pollutants and health outcomes – children’s health outcomes...Here, we’re saying, the air we breathe affects deliveries," said Conry, who was not an author of this new research.
Preterm birth and low birth weight can also increase a child's risk for future health and developmental problems.
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