News – PH – Extreme rainfall has been linked to low birth weight in babies

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Increasing extreme weather events are causing havoc around the world and can affect the health of newborns in some of the world’s most remote regions and vulnerable populations New research published Monday in Nature Sustainability finds a strong link between extreme rainfall events in the Amazon basin caused by climate change and worrying risks for babies such as low birth weight and shortened pregnancies

The study’s authors worked with more than 291 between 2006 and 2017000 digitized birth registrations from Amazonas, a Brazilian state that is almost entirely located in the Amazon rainforest.The data included births from a swath of different socio-economic groups in 43 different communities along rivers rural as well as urban a)

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These birth records not only marked the birth of a baby, but also contained the child’s weight, as well as valuable information about the mother’s age, location, and marital status, whether or not they were a member of an indigenous group and how much formal education they had Using the given dates of birth, the researchers were able to retrospectively map the mother’s pregnancy and link it to extreme precipitation events during this period

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The study found a definitive association between extreme rainfall and worrying effects on babies, such as below average birth weight, premature birth, and impaired growth in the fetus Babies whose mothers experienced extreme rainfall during pregnancy had a birth weight that was nearly 200 grams below average That might not sound like a lot, but it’s “very, very important,” said Luke Parry, one of the study’s authors,

for infants

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“If you weigh less than 25 pounds, that has had many developmental consequences later in life,” said Parry. Even extreme rainfall events, as the study found, did not correlate with lower birth weight: babies were 40% more likely of being born underweight if their mothers were exposed to an increased rainfall event during pregnancy, the study should not explain why exactly this happens, and no specific scientific association has been found between low birth weight and river flooding

“It is quite difficult to separate the effects of different mechanisms because they all occur at the same time,” Parry said, noting that more research is needed in this and other regions, but noted that infectious diseases are on the rise How malaria or cholera, food insecurity, and severe emotional stress can lead to extreme rainfall and associated flash floods in poorer, river-dependent communities in the Amazon.The study also looked at how higher income can alter birth outcomes, with a large difference in birth weight between the greatest favored mothers in the sample and the least favored mothers was found

“Even without prenatal exposure to the extreme [weather], the average birth weight is an average of 648 grams lower when a baby is born to an adolescent Indigenous unmarried mother with no formal education or obstetrics,” Parry told These Extreme Rainfalls, he said , “only exacerbate the existing disadvantages” for the poorest people in Brazil

Climate change is causing “major disruptions in these communities,” Parry said. Recent research has shown flooding in the area has increased fivefold, while some of it has been driven by natural cycles like El Niño, climate change is also more likely to be greater Rain showers around the world as a warmer atmosphere can hold more water Nonetheless, Parry said, there is relatively little research on how it affects the lives and health of those actually living in the Amazon

“These remote populations are often outside the political consciousness of the rest of Brazilian society and policymakers,” Parry said. “There is so much physical research out there on the effects of climate change in the Amazon but the actual Amazonians, who have contributed very little to climate change, are hardest hit and are basically forgotten””

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Climate change, Brazil, Amazon rainforest, premature birth, extreme weather

News – PH – Extreme rainfall has been linked to low birth weight in babies

Source: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/03/extreme-rainfall-has-been-linked-with-low-birth-weight-in-babies/