Open windows, lower risk for preterm birth: study

Open windows, lower risk for preterm birth: study
Increased ventilation reduces exposure to secondhand smoke, chemicals, researchers say.

(HealthDay) —Opening the windows at home may help pregnant women reduce their risk for preterm birth or low birth weight, a new study indicates.

Researchers suggested the increase in fresh air could help protect expectant mothers from exposure to secondhand smoke and other volatile organic compounds that can be found indoors.

For the study, published online and in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers questioned more than 1,760 mothers in Los Angeles about the quality of air in their home while they were pregnant. They were asked about their exposure to secondhand smoke, how often they opened the windows and how often they used hairspray, insect spray and nail polish at home.

Although the researchers did not link the use of hairspray or other household products with preterm birth or low birth weight, they did find that opening the windows at home reduced the women's risk for these complications of pregnancy.

The study showed that women exposed to secondhand smoke at home who opened their windows for less than half the day were three times more likely to experience low birth weight and were 92 percent more likely to have a preterm birth.

Even if they were not exposed to secondhand smoke, women who didn't open their windows very often were 49 percent more likely to have a baby with low birth weight and 25 percent more likely to have a preterm delivery than women in homes with better ventilation.

"As there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke, pregnant women should be advised to avoid secondhand smoke exposure whenever possible, or mitigate secondhand smoke exposure by limiting smoking by household members to outdoor spaces or ventilating their home," the authors wrote.

While the study found an association between opening windows and preterm birth, it did not establish a cause-and-effect link.

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on preterm birth.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

3 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

13 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.