Chinese babies born during 2008 Olympics were heavier

2015-04-29 17:46
(Peter Parks, AFP)

(Peter Parks, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - Women in the Chinese capital in the final stage of pregnancy during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when officials strictly controlled air pollution gave birth to heavier babies than in years when the city was smoggier, a study said on Wednesday.

The study, led by epidemiologist David Q Rich of the University of Rochester Medical Centre and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that babies born to Beijing mothers in their eighth month of pregnancy during the 2008 Summer Games were on average 23g heavier than those born either a year earlier or a year later.

It found no significant association for mothers in their first through seventh months.

Studies previously have linked pollution to birth weight, but did not pinpoint at what stage of pregnancy the association is greatest. The researchers in China and the US used records of more than 83 000 full-term births to mothers in Beijing from 2007 to 2009.

Beijing halted construction, shut factories and cut the numbers of vehicles allowed on the roads for 47 days for the games, providing the basis for a natural experiment on the effects of pollution.

The authors suggested that pollution controls, even short-lived ones can have positive health benefits.

"These findings not only illustrate one of the many significant health consequences of pollution, but also demonstrate that this phenomenon can be reversed," Rich said in a statement.

Professor Chen Yuyu of the Applied Economics Department at Peking University, who was not involved in the birth study, said it was interesting but not conclusive because there could have been other unobserved factors during the Olympics that contributed to the results.

Chen, who was the co-author of a 2013 report that linked heavy pollution from coal burning to shorter lives in northern China, said more research is needed to "improve our understanding of pollution's impact on people's health".

Read more on:    china  |  environment  |  health  |  research  |  pollution

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.