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Are babies conceived during Ramadan born smaller and sooner than babies conceived at other times of the year? A Born in Bradford cohort study

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posted on 13.03.2018 by Amanda Daley, Miranda J. Pallan, Sue J. Clifford, Kate Jolly, Maria Bryant, Peymane Adab, K.K. Cheng, Andrea K. Roalfe
Background It is not known whether infants exposed to intermittent maternal fasting at conception are born smaller or have a higher risk of premature birth than those who are not. Doctors are therefore unsure about what advice to give women about the safety of Ramadan fasting. This cohort study aimed to investigate these questions in Muslim mother-infant pairs to inform prenatal care. Methods Routinely collected data accessed from maternity records were the source for information. Mothers were considered exposed if they were Muslim and Ramadan overlapped with their infant conception date, estimated to be 14 days after the last menstrual period. Infants were included as exposed if their estimated conception date was in the first 21 days of Ramadan or 7 days prior to Ramadan. Results After adjusting for gestational age, maternal age, infant gender, maternal body mass index at booking, smoking status, gestational diabetes, parity and year of birth, there was no significant difference in birth weight between infants born to Muslim mothers who were conceived during Ramadan (n=479) and those who were not (n=4677) (adjusted mean difference =24.3 g, 95% CI -16.4 to 64.9). There was no difference in rates of premature births in exposed and unexposed women (5.2% vs 4.9%; OR=1.08, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.65). Conclusions Healthy Muslim women considering becoming pregnant prior to, or during Ramadan, can be advised that fasting does not seem to have a detrimental effect on the size (weight) of their baby and it appears not to increase the likelihood of giving birth prematurely.

Funding

KJ is part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) West Midlands.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Volume

71

Issue

7

Pages

722 - 728

Citation

DALEY, A.J. ... et al, 2017. Are babies conceived during Ramadan born smaller and sooner than babies conceived at other times of the year? A Born in Bradford cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71 (7), pp.722-728.

Publisher

BMJ Publishing Group Limited © The Authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

07/03/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This article has been published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health following peer review. The definitive copyedited, typeset version DALEY, A. ... et al, 2017. Are babies conceived during Ramadan born smaller and sooner than babies conceived at other times of the year? A Born in Bradford Cohort Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71 (7), pp.722-728 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2016-208800.

ISSN

0143-005X

eISSN

1470-2738

Language

en

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