Spanish flu pandemic linked to extend in low delivery weight and stillbirth


Within the wake of the 1918/1919 “Spanish flu” influenza pandemic, the chance of low delivery weight and stillbirth elevated amongst girls in Switzerland, in accordance with a brand new research printed this week within the open-access journal PLOS ONE Kaspar Staub of the College of Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues.

Impaired neonatal well being is an ongoing public well being concern worldwide. Understanding determinants that impede regular fetal and toddler improvement and progress is essential for ameliorating neonatal well being total. Within the new research, the researchers analyzed knowledge on moms and neonates from the Bern Maternity Hospital from 1880 to 1900 and from 1914-1922.

Total, the speed of preterm births and stillbirths decreased between the primary dataset and the second. Nevertheless, the research discovered that the incidence of low delivery weight was considerably elevated in 1918 (OR 1.49, 95percentCI 1.00-2.23) and in 1919 (OR 1.55, 95percentCI 1.02-2.36), the years coinciding with the “Spanish flu”. Moreover, moms closely uncovered to the influenza pandemic throughout pregnancy-;based mostly on the dates of their being pregnant and an infection charges on the time-;had the next threat of stillbirth (OR 2.27, 95percentCI 1.32-3.90). The information on influenza an infection throughout being pregnant have been too imprecise within the dataset to be conclusive on the particular person stage.

The authors conclude that components influencing neonatal well being are multifactorial, however there may be doubtless some consistency throughout pandemics, with comparable patterns of elevated stillbirth and low delivery weight seen for pregnancies uncovered to each the 1918 pandemic and COVID-19.

The authors add: “Pandemics are more and more reported to negatively affect being pregnant outcomes. Our research is one other instance displaying that the best pandemic of the final century was related to greater dangers of stillbirths and low birthweight. This urges us to raised put together for future pandemics to mitigate their results on maternal and neonatal well being.”


Journal reference:

Salvisberg, V., et al. (2023) Well being of neonates born within the maternity hospital in Bern, Switzerland, 1880–1900 and 1914–1922. PLOS ONE.


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