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New study looks for links between heat, miscarriages

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 1:32pm
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Research suggesting links between heat and miscarriages has inspired a new study to monitor the temperature and humidity felt by pregnant people at various stages of pregnancy.

The project, which kicked off in May, is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

In May 2022, a study in the journal Epidemiology found pregnancy losses in a large fertility study group called PRESTO peaked in late summer. What’s more, miscarriage risk was 30-40% higher in late August than in late February.

The journal Science reports that paper’s lead author, Amelia Wesselink of Boston University, is now recruiting hundreds for a follow-up study to nail down any such links and to find out if embryos face greater risk during certain months.

Participants will self-report pregnancy events and will wear temperature and humidity monitors for one month – an improvement over past studies, which looked back in time and relied on data from the nearest weather stations.

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