Covid-19: a drop in premature births baffling scientists

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The various blockages around the world have coincided with a drop in the number of premature births. A phenomenon that intrigues the scientific community. A new study has been published on this topic.

As early as July, several hospitals around the world reported a strange phenomenon: the drop in the number of preterm births recorded during delivery, compared to the usual rate.

Although it may just be a coincidence, the scientific and medical community is wondering: is the drop in air pollution partly to blame for this unexpected drop in preterm births? Or was it just that pregnant women, confined to the house, were less exposed to stress?

In a new study, published October 13 in The Lancet Public Health, researchers at the Erasme Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, also reported a "significantly reduced" number of preterm births following containment measures in place in the country. .

The researchers here studied the births of 1,599,547 babies, which took place between 2010 and 2020, of which 56,720 took place after the containment measures linked to Covid-19 and decreed as of March 9, 2020. Result: "In this quasi-experimental national study, the initial implementation of COVID-19 mitigation measures was associated with a substantial reduction in the incidence of preterm births in the following months, based on preliminary observations made elsewhere," the researchers concluded. They said the decline in preterm births was even more visible among people living in the wealthiest neighborhoods, again without knowing why.

Reduction of contact with pathogens through the implementation of barrier and isolation measures, reduction of stress related to work and home travel, drastic reduction of air pollution, etc. These are the main hypotheses mentioned by researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center to explain these figures. Note that the air pollution reduction hypothesis is the most discussed to date, because pollution has been shown to increase the risk of preterm birth.

Further research on this topic will provide a better understanding of the factors that influence the risk of preterm birth, the main contributor to death in early childhood.

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