04 Feb Number of Extremely Preterm Births Varies with Season
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anders Hviid M.Sc.,Dr.Med.Sci.
Head of Department (acting),
Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology,
Department of Epidemiology Research
Statens Serum Institut
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: An unusually low number of extremely preterm births have been observed in some countries during the initial covid-19 lockdowns. We speculated that this could be because of fewer infections, reduced activity levels, less stress etc. These are also factors that change with the seasons, and we hypothesized that extremely preterm birth might be associated with seasonality.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? What might account for the observed effects?
Response: The risk of extremely preterm birth was lowest in winter and highest in autumn corresponding to a 25% increase in autumn compared to winter. This seasonal pattern was not observed for preterm births closer to term.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We hope that our work will inspire scientists to look for preventable risk factors for extremely preterm birth associated with season.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: It might be worthwhile in future research to consider preterm birth as several phenotypes instead of just one condition – our work suggest that risk factors might exist for one phenotype, but not for others.
The study was supported by the Danish Medical Research Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Hviid A, Laksafoss A, Hedley P, et al. Assessment of Seasonality and Extremely Preterm Birth in Denmark. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e2145800. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.45800
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