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The worrying way in which your height affects your pregnancy

by , 20 August 2015

Are you pregnant? Then you'd be interested in this surprising new finding: Your height may affect your risk for pre-term birth. This goes according to a new American study published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

The research team look at data of nearly 3,500 Nordic women and their babies. They found that shorter mother had shorter pregnancies, smaller babies, and a higher risk for preterm birth! Keep reading to find out more.

New study finds that your height has an impact on the length of your pregnancy

“Our finding shows that a mother’s height has a direct impact on how long her pregnancy lasts,” said researcher Dr Louis Muglia, an investigator with the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative.
“The explanation for why this happens is unclear but could depend not only on unknown genes but also on woman’s lifetime of nutrition and her environment,” Muglia said in a March of Dimes news release.

So should you worry about premature delivery if you’re short?

Short women shouldn’t worry that they’re destined to deliver prematurely, researchers clarify. The study only found an association between short stature and preterm birth, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

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Preterm birth, which takes place before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is the leading cause of death of new-borns in the United States, where more than 450,000 babies are born early each year. The country’s preterm birth rate is worse than many other wealthy nations, the March of Dimes said.
Dr Joe Leigh Simpson, March of Dimes senior vice president for research and global programmes, said his organisation’s goal is to identify genes that govern foetal growth and length of pregnancy.
“That a woman’s height influences gestational length, independent of the genes she passes on that determine foetal size, is a major finding by our research networks, and the first of what we expect to be many genetic contributions,” he said in the news release.

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