Maternal exposure to ambient temperature and the risk of preterm birth and stillbirth in Brisbane, Australia

Strand, Linn B., Barnett, Adrian G., & Tong, Shilu (2012) Maternal exposure to ambient temperature and the risk of preterm birth and stillbirth in Brisbane, Australia. American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(2), pp. 99-107.

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Almost 10% of all births are preterm and 2.2% are stillbirths globally. Recent research has suggested that environmental factors may be a contributory cause to these adverse birth outcomes. The authors examined the relationship between ambient temperature and preterm birth and stillbirth in Brisbane, Australia between 2005 and 2009 (n = 101,870). They used a Cox proportional hazard model with live birth and stillbirth as competing risks. They also examined if there were periods of the pregnancy where exposure to high temperatures had a greater effect. Exposure to higher ambient temperatures during pregnancy increased the risk of stillbirth. The hazard ratio for stillbirth was 0.3 at 12 °C relative to the reference temperature at 21 °C. The temperature effect was greatest for fetuses of less than 36 weeks of gestation. There was an association between higher temperature and shorter gestation, as the hazard ratio for live birth was 0.96 at 15 °C and 1.02 at 25 °C. This effect was greatest at later gestational ages. The results provide strong evidence of an association between increased temperature and increased risk of stillbirth and shorter gestations.

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ID Code: 42388
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Fetal death, Weather, Temperature, Stillbirth, Survival analysis, Premature birth
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr404
ISSN: 0002-9262
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 05 Jul 2011 21:44
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2013 01:34

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