Women who conceive in the spring are more likely to have premature infants than women who get pregnant in other seasons, according to a University of Pittsburgh study presented at the annual meeting of the US Society of Maternal-Foetal Medicine in San Francisco.
The researchers analysed data from 75 399 deliveries and found that the rate of preterm birth (prior to 37 weeks gestation) among women who conceived in the spring was 9.2 percent, compared to 9.1 percent for winter conception, 8.8 percent for fall, and 8.4 percent for summer, CBC News reported.
The study also found women who got pregnant in the summer or fall were 25 percent less likely than women who conceived in winter or spring to deliver their newborns prior to 32 weeks gestation, when complications can be more severe for both the baby and mother.
These seasonal variations may be linked to the immune system, the researchers suggested.
"It could be that becoming pregnant when the immune system is primed by viral and bacterial exposures may be a factor weeks down the road," Dr Hyagriv Simhan, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a prepared statement. – (HealthDayNews)
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