Journal Article Temperature during pregnancy influences the fetal growth and birth size

Rashid, Harunor  ,  Kagami, Miki  ,  Ferdous, Farzana  ,  Ma, Enbo  ,  Terao, Toru  ,  Hayashi, Taiichi  ,  Wagatsuma, Yukiko

45 ( 1 ) 2017-01-10 , Springer Nature
Background: Birth weight and length have seasonal fluctuations. However, it is uncertain which meteorological element has an effect on birth outcomes and which timing of pregnancy would explain such effect. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine temperature effects during pregnancy and which timing of pregnancy has effects on size at birth. Methods: A large, randomized, controlled trial of food and micronutrient supplementation for pregnant women was conducted in Matlab, Bangladesh (MINIMat Study), where women were enrolled from November 2001 to October 2003. The fetal growth data which included the size at birth and information of their mothers were obtained (n = 3267). Meteorological data such as temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and daily sunshine hours during pregnancy were observed at the nearest observatory site of Bangladesh Meteorological Department. Results: Infants born in colder months (November–January) were shorter than those born in hot and dry, and monsoon months (mean (SD) of birth length was 47.5 cm (2.2) vs. 47.8 cm (2.1) vs. 47.9 cm (2.1) respectively; P < 0.001). Increased temperature during the last month of pregnancy was significantly related with increased birth length with adjustment for gestational weeks and the season at birth, and remained significant with further adjustments for precipitation, sex of infants, maternal early-pregnancy BMI, parity, and education status of the mother (P < 0.01). On the other hand, increased temperature at mid-gestation was associated with increased birth weight (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These findings suggest that temperature affects both birth weight and length. The more temperature increased at the last month of pregnancy, birth length became longer. For birth weight, the temperature at mid-pregnancy affected in a positive way.

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