A new study by researchers at the University of Utah examined the relationship between rainfall, temperature and birthweight in 19 African countries. They analysed weather records and 70,000 births from 1986 to 2010, and found that women in places with less rainfall and more hot days were having more underweight babies.
An increase of hot days above 100F during any trimester corresponded to a decrease in birth weight – just one extra day with a temperature above 100F in the second trimester corresponded to a 0.9g weight decrease. Higher amounts of rainfall during any trimester resulted in larger birth weights – a 10mm increase in rainfall corresponded to an increase in birth weight of around 0.3-0.5g.
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