The global climate change has adverse affects on birth weight, according to a study conducted in the U.S. The two-year study, led by geography professor Kathryn Grace, doctors and researchers in 19 African countries, revealed a connection between climate change and birth weight.
Grace and her team examined the detailed climate data in conjunction with extensive health data to focus on climate change and its effects on birth weight in the developing countries. The findings showed that the pregnant women, who are exposed to reduced precipitation and an increased number of extremely high temperatures, give birth to babies with lower birth weight compared to other healthy babies. "Our findings demonstrate that in the very early stages of intra-uterine development, climate change has the potential to significantly impact birth outcomes," said Grace in her statement. The results of the studies show that the increase in the number of days with a temperature higher than 37.8 degrees Celsius have a close relation with birth weight. In fact, the study underlined that just one extra day with a temperature above 37.8 degrees Celsius in the second trimester of the pregnancy corresponded to a 0.9-gram drop in the baby's weight, while the increase in the number of rainy days led to an increase in birth weight. A 10-millimeter increase in precipitation during any trimester of the pregnancy resulted with a 0.3-gram increase in baby weight, according to the study. World Health Organization (WHO) considers any birth less than 2,500 grams as low birth weight for babies. While babies with low birth weight are more vulnerable to diseases, these babies are also under the risk of death or disabled growth.