Extreme temperatures may increase risk for low birth weight at term, NIH study suggests

by SRA International on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Excerpt from original article, "Extreme temperatures may increase risk for low birth weight at term, NIH study suggests," posted on NIH News Releases, February 27, 2017.


Extreme hot or cold temperatures during pregnancy may increase the risk that infants born at term will be of low birth weight, according to a study of U.S. women by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The study was published in Environmental Research.

The authors found that exposure to atypically cold temperature during the entire pregnancy, or just during the second trimester and third trimester, increased the risk for low birth weight. Exposure to atypically hot temperatures during the whole pregnancy, or during the third trimester, also increased this risk. The odds for low term birth weight were highest when the whole pregnancy was exposed to extreme temperatures.

“Until we can learn more, it makes sense to reduce the amount of time that pregnant women are exposed to extreme hot or cold weather,” said the study’s senior author, Pauline Mendola, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the Division of Intramural and Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

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