This article discusses how increasing temperatures from climate change may harm babies’ hearts. A report finds a rise maternal heat exposure could mean more congenital heart disease for US babies over the next decade.
Increasing temperatures from climate change could drive up the number of babies born with congenital heart defects, warns a new study from the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The report, released today, warns that heat exposure for mothers across the U.S. is set to rise. Previous research has found a link between pregnant women’s heat exposure and congenital heart defects in their babies. Congenital heart defects affect about 40,000 babies in the U.S. annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers estimated the number of births to take place from 2025 to 2035 and the expected increase in maternal heat exposure as a result of warming temperatures, which meant looking at the number of excessively hot days and the frequency of extreme heat days. They found the greatest projected increases in the number of babies born with heart defects in the Midwest, followed by the Northeast and the South.