More babies likely to be born with heart defects due to climate change: study

01 February 2019 - 06:48 By Odwa Mjo
Experts have warned that babies born between 2025 and 2035 in the US will be vulnerable to congenital heart defects due to climate change.
Experts have warned that babies born between 2025 and 2035 in the US will be vulnerable to congenital heart defects due to climate change.
Image: 123RF/katrinaelena

A large number of infants in the US will likely be born with congenital heart defects between 2025 and 2035 due to rising temperatures as a result of climate change.

This is according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which projects changes in maternal heat exposure during early pregnancy, mainly between three to eight weeks after conception.

The study links the changes in maternal heat exposure caused by rising temperatures to possible congenital heart defects in the future. 

CNN reported that climate change could lead to 7,000 more cases of congenital heart conditions in the US over a period of 11 years.

According to the researchers, the impact of the heart defects will be determined by the season, more likely in summer and spring, as well as the temperatures in the region.

The study cautions pregnant women about extreme exposure to heat, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, as the increase in exposure to heat would increase the need for mothers to medically be prepared for their babies to have congenital heart defects.