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A Population-Based Case–Control Study of Extreme Summer Temperature and Birth Defects
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    23031822
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC3491926
  • Description:
    Although hyperthermia is a recognized animal teratogen and maternal fever has been associated with birth defects in humans, data on the relationship between high environmental temperatures and birth defects are limited.|To determine whether pregnancies are potentially vulnerable to the weather extremes anticipated with climate change, we evaluated the relationship between extreme summer temperature and the occurrence of birth defects.|We performed a population-based case-control study by linking the New York State Congenital Malformations Registry to birth certificates for the years 1992-2006. We selected nonmalformed infants from a 10% random sample of live births as controls. We assigned meteorologic data based on maternal residence at birth, summarized universal apparent temperature (UAT; degrees Fahrenheit) across the critical period of embryogenesis, and estimated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) with multivariable logistic regression, controlling for confounders available on the birth certificate.|Among 6,422 cases and 59,328 controls that shared at least 1 week of the critical period in summer, a 5-degree increase in mean daily minimum UAT was significantly associated with congenital cataracts (aOR = 1.51; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.99). Congenital cataracts were significantly associated with all ambient temperature indicators as well: heat wave, number of heat waves, and number of days above the 90th percentile. Inconsistent associations with a subset of temperature indicators were observed for renal agenesis/hypoplasia (positive) and anophthalmia/microphthalmia and gastroschisis (negative).|We found positive and consistent associations between multiple heat indicators during the relevant developmental window and congenital cataracts which should be confirmed with other data sources.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    1U38EH000184-05/EH/NCEH CDC HHS/United States
    5U01EH000396-02/EH/NCEH CDC HHS/United States
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