Ambient temperature as a trigger of preterm delivery in a temperate climate.

Cox, B; Vicedo-Cabrera, AM; Gasparrini, A; Roels, HA; Martens, E; Vangronsveld, J; Forsberg, B; Nawrot, TS; (2016) Ambient temperature as a trigger of preterm delivery in a temperate climate. Journal of epidemiology and community health. ISSN 0143-005X DOI:

This is the latest version of this item. Earlier version may have full text manuscript

Text - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


: Recent evidence suggests that elevated ambient temperatures may trigger preterm delivery. Since results from studies in temperate climates are inconclusive, we investigated the association between temperature and the risk of preterm birth in Flanders (Belgium).<br/> : We used data on 807 835 singleton deliveries (January 1998-July 2011). We combined a quasi-Poisson model with distributed lag non-linear models to allow for delayed and non-linear temperature effects, accounting for the daily pregnancies at risk and their gestational age distribution.<br/> : For moderate heat (95th vs 50th centile) up to 1 day before delivery (lag 0-1), the risk of preterm birth increased by 8.5% (95% CI 2.4% to 15.0%) when minimum temperature increased from 8.3°C to 16.3°C and by 9.6% (95% CI 1.1% to 18.7%) when maximum temperature increased from 14.7°C to 26.5°C. Corresponding estimates for extreme heat (99th vs 50th centile) were 15.6% (95% CI 4.8% to 27.6%) for minimum temperature (19.0°C vs 8.3°C) and 14.5% (95% CI 0.5% to 30.6%) for maximum temperature (30.7°C vs 14.7°C). Despite the increased risk of preterm birth associated with cold at lag 2 (and lag 1 for minimum temperature), cumulative cold effects were small. The per cent change in preterm birth associated with moderate cold (5th vs 50th centile) up to 3 days before delivery (lag 0-3) was 2.1% (95% CI -4.1% to 8.7%) for minimum temperature (-2.0°C vs 8.3°C) and 0.6% (95% CI -7.3% to 9.2%) for maximum temperature (2.5°C vs 14.7°C).<br/> : Even in a temperate climate, ambient temperature may trigger preterm delivery, suggesting that pregnant women should avoid temperature extremes.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Research Centre: Centre for Statistical Methodology
PubMed ID: 27261529
Web of Science ID: 388117300007

Available Versions of this Item


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item