Danish authors of a study in this week’s issue of THE LANCET provide reassurance to pregnant women—maternal fever in the early stages of pregnancy is probably not a risk factor for miscarriage or stillbirth.
Increased maternal body temperature can cause fetal death in some animals, which has lead to the suspicion that maternal fever early in pregnancy (when embryonic development is at a critical stage) could have a similar effect in the human population.
Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen and colleagues from the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, and the University of Copenhagen, interviewed around 24,000 women who were recruited in the first half of pregnancy to the Danish National Birth Cohort Study. The investigators obtained information on the number of fever incidents during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. For each fever episode, the highest measured body temperature, duration, and gestational age were recorded.
Richard Lane | alfa
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