Study: Woman’s height can affect length of pregnancy

A woman’s height may determine when she goes into labor during a pregnancy, The Telegraph reports.

New research published in PLOS Medicine journal found that height influences the length of a woman’s pregnancy and the frequency of prematurity.

"That a woman's height influences gestational length, independent of the genes she passes on that determine fetal size, is a major finding by our research networks, and the first of what we expect to be many genetic contributions,” Joe Leigh Simpson, vice president for research at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, told The Telegraph.

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After studying 3,485 Nordic women and their babies, researchers found that shorter women have shorter pregnancies and smaller babies. They are also at greater risk of giving birth prematurely, The Telegraph reports.

"The explanation for why this happens is unclear but could depend not only on unknown genes but also on woman's lifetime of nutrition and her environment,” Louis Muglia, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told The Telegraph.

But the president for research at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, Jennifer Howse, said this finding “is critical to understanding the unknown causes of preterm birth,” and “adds one small piece toward solving the much larger puzzle,” The Telegraph reports.


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