Date of birth determines baby's health
Time of conception influences baby's health
Does the time of conception affect the baby's health? For example, according to US researchers, for example, the risk of premature birth would increase if fertilization took place in May, possibly because of influenza viruses.
Influenza viruses responsible for increased number of premature births?
Are children born in July healthier than December babies? Scientists have been dealing with this question for almost a hundred years. Now US researchers at Princeton University have returned to this topic, concluding, among other things, that children born in May are more likely to be born too soon - and consequently a larger one Risk for various diseases. The reason for this connection could be the two US researchers Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt after influenza: For these may lead to premature birth in pregnant women under certain circumstances - and since the calculated date of birth after fertilization in May in January or February, this falls exactly in the middle of the annual flu season in the USA.
US researchers analyze data from more than 1.4 million children
The researchers had for their investigation „The seasonal health of childbirth was analyzed using a large sample of 647,050 US sibling groups with a total of 1,435,213 children“, so the report of Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt in the journal "PNAS". The researchers had deliberately only used the data of women who had given birth to more than one child for the purpose of a detailed investigation of possible relationships - because it is with two born at different seasons children „less likely that the relationship between season and birth has anything to do with the mother herself“, so the explanation of the scientists. The idea behind this method: avoid distortions of results - because „Recent work shows that mothers with lower socioeconomic status tend to give birth to their babies in months associated with increased complications during and after childbirth“, so the two researchers.
„Increase of premature births of more than 10 percent“ for children born in May
By analyzing the data, the researchers came to interesting results „a significant low in pregnancy length among babies who were conceived in May, representing an increase of premature births of more than 10 percent“ and possibly a consequence of the flu effect, as Currie and Schwandt write in their article. In addition, the two scientists found yet another context: So had „Children whose conception took place in the summer, eight to nine grams additional weight at birth“ Compared to the other children, which is probably related to a higher maternal weight gain during pregnancy - smoking or marital status would not explain these relationships, the researchers write.
Influenza as a possible explanation for premature births has not been sufficiently considered
Previous studies had already yielded similar findings, but the researchers considered that influenza had not been sufficiently considered as a possible explanation for increased premature birth. However, according to the authors of the article, it should also be taken into account that an influenza illness of the mother in the first months of pregnancy would mean increased risks - for example with regard to mental damage - to unborn children. Nevertheless, the results of the current study would suggest that children born in the summer have a health problem „advantage“ compared to winter-born babies, the researchers said in their article. (No)
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