Study finds heat could hurt babies’ hearts

Local News

Any woman who’s ever been pregnant can tell you…heat and pregnancy don’t mix.

But the issue might go beyond discomfort. Warmer weather might actually harm your baby.

Jeremy Roth has details in today’s Health Minute.

Climate change has visible effects on the environment, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, dramatic weather events.

But a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicates, the less noticeable effects of climate change are cause for concern, as well.

Researchers say women who are exposed to excessive heat during early pregnancy are more likely to have babies with Congenital Heart Defects, or CHD.

According to the study, as many as 7,000 additional cases of CHD are expected between the years 2025 and 2035, due to higher temperatures triggered by climate change.

The study compared data from an earlier birth defects prevention study and the U.S. government’s climate projections.

Based on those projections, New York, Midwestern states, like Iowa, and Southeastern states, like Georgia and North Carolina will see the greatest temperature increases.

The specific link between high temperatures and CHD is still unclear, but studies on animals have shown that heat can cause fetal cell death and negatively impact crucial developmental proteins.

High temperatures are also known to cause problems beyond CHD. Women are at higher risk of giving birth early when exposed to extreme heat and babies are more likely to be underweight.

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