Climate Study: Black Expectant US Mothers Especially at Risk from Heat Exposure

Pregnant Woman. Giovanni Battista Cipriani / CC BY

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The meta study notes at least one study which did not find a significant connection between heat exposure and premature birth, but the consensus appears to be black expectant mothers are especially at risk from global warming.

Climate crisis poses serious risks for pregnancy, investigation finds

Air pollution and heat exposure linked to negative outcomes

Researchers discover ‘pretty scary health burdens’

More than a decade of overwhelming evidence links air pollution and heat exposure with negative pregnancy outcomes in the US, according to a new review of dozens of studies.

The investigation, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, identified 57 studies since 2007 showing a significant association between the two factors and the risk of pre-term birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.

Black mothers were particularly at risk, as were people with asthma.

The review analyzed 32m births tracked across 68 studies. Of those, 84% found air pollution and heat to be risk factors.

“When you talk about climate, people think about severe weather, big storms or huge fires … but we wanted to talk about the impacts that are common and widespread and ongoing and also are rarely attributed to the climate crisis,” said Bruce Bekkar, a co-author of the study and a retired obstetrician.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

June 18, 2020

Association of Air Pollution and Heat Exposure With Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight, and Stillbirth in the USA Systematic Review

Bruce Bekkar, MD1Susan Pacheco, MD2Rupa Basu, PhD3,4et alNathaniel DeNicola, MD, MSHP5
JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e208243. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8243

Importance  Knowledge of whether serious adverse pregnancy outcomes are associated with increasingly widespread effects of climate change in the US would be crucial for the obstetrical medical community and for women and families across the country.

Objective  To investigate prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, and heat, and the association of these factors with preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.

Evidence Review  This systematic review involved a comprehensive search for primary literature in Cochrane Library, Cochrane Collaboration Registry of Controlled Trials, PubMed, website, and MEDLINE. Qualifying primary research studies included human participants in US populations that were published in English between January 1, 2007, and April 30, 2019. Included articles analyzed the associations between air pollutants or heat and obstetrical outcomes. Comparative observational cohort studies and cross-sectional studies with comparators were included, without minimum sample size. Additional articles found through reference review were also considered. Articles analyzing other obstetrical outcomes, non-US populations, and reviews were excluded. Two reviewers independently determined study eligibility. The Arskey and O’Malley scoping review framework was used. Data extraction was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline.

Findings  Of the 1851 articles identified, 68 met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 32 798 152 births were analyzed, with a mean (SD) of 565 485 (783 278) births per study. A total of 57 studies (48 of 58 [84%] on air pollutants; 9 of 10 [90%] on heat) showed a significant association of air pollutant and heat exposure with birth outcomes. Positive associations were found across all US geographic regions. Exposure to PM2.5 or ozone was associated with increased risk of preterm birth in 19 of 24 studies (79%) and low birth weight in 25 of 29 studies (86%). The subpopulations at highest risk were persons with asthma and minority groups, especially black mothers. Accurate comparisons of risk were limited by differences in study design, exposure measurement, population demographics, and seasonality.

Conclusions and Relevance  This review suggests that increasingly common environmental exposures exacerbated by climate change are significantly associated with serious adverse pregnancy outcomes across the US.

Read more:

From the body of the study;

Three studies4446 examining large numbers of preterm births (range, 14 466-58 681 births) in California noted an increased risk of preterm birth for each 5.6 °C-increase in temperature, as did another study covering 12 clinical sites across the US for 2.8 °C increase.47

Two reports from California45,46 found an association of racial/ethnic disparity and heat exposure with an increasing risk of preterm birth; higher risk was found among black mothers. Increased risk of preterm birth was also found for Asian mothers and younger mothers in Basu et al.46

One cross-sectional analysis did not identify a significant association with preterm birth and heat exposure. Kloog et al’s48 satellite-based spatial modeling technique in Massachusetts found no association with preterm birth (1.04; 95% CI, 0.96-1.13) and a small reduction in gestational age at delivery (–0.26%; 95% CI, –0.28% to –0.25%) per 2.8 °C whole-pregnancy mean ambient temperature increase. Of note, standard monitoring data with similar elevated temperatures showed an association with preterm birth (1.02; 95% CI, 1.00-1.05).

Read more: Same link as above

It is difficult to believe that people whose recent ancestors mostly came from Northern Europe are more able to tolerate heat than people whose ancestors mostly came from Africa. But these are peer reviewed studies.

71 thoughts on “Climate Study: Black Expectant US Mothers Especially at Risk from Heat Exposure

  1. Well it is US Democrats. Apparently because of the Climate Scam and PM2.5 African-American expoecting mothers should just go to a local Planned Parenthood clinic and ask for a “climate justice solution” to their pregnancy. That is how the Democrat’s 100 year eugenics campaign works after all.
    Black lives matter. I’ll say it.
    President Trump most assuredly hurts some of my sensibilities, but how any thinking US voter can vote “Democrat” in 2020 totally baffles me.

    • but how any thinking US voter can vote “Democrat” in 2020 totally baffles me.

      Quoting from a Newt Gingrich commentary:

      As President Ronald Reagan said, “the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

      And when the liberals don’t know any better, they commit themselves to engaging in a really, really BAD marriage to those “sweet talking” Democrats, ….. and once they realize their mistake it is too late ……. and they will blame all their troubles on anyone or anything but themselves.

      • As too frequently happens, people in a bad marriage blame themselves or others rather than the abusive partner. “You don’t understand, he really loves me”.

        • You really don’t understand, …… “the Democrats are for the poor”, the poor blacks, …… and the Democrats have worked hard over the past 100 years to make sure that most blacks remain poor, ….. because their being barefoot, hungry and poor is a guarantee that the Democrats get their votes.

    • Actually, Occam’s razor points to what Dr. Shanahan, MD, former science director of the LA Lakers PRO Nutrition program, undergrad biology and genetics, in her book Deep Nutrition (2017) (see here and other booksellers ).

      Overview: You are what you eat. You produce offspring based on what you eat. Black Americans (as have most Americans) eat horrible diets and have for two to three generations producing kids without proper nutritional foundation(s) passed along by their mothers. It’s further compounded by having kids too close together.

      This is another obervational study that is just pure garbage. The major US cities in the past were vastly more polluted during periods of heat greater than today. Thus, give the Greta Award For Specious Science to this one ignoring confounding causes. Not very bright or just another political driven paper.

      Obtw, blacks require much greater sun exposure to produce Vitamin D because the darker the skin, the less vitamin D you produce. I.E., melanin protects against UV light but blocks the action of the skin to produce it. Vitamin D is hugely important to the body and a developing fetus. Add that to the nutritional train wrecks of the last few decades and . . .

      • It also would help the poor to have electricity rate they could pay rather than subsidizing the upper middle class solar panels.

        • If one lives in “low income” subsidized housing, ….. do they have to pay their utilities?

    • #BLM (Baby Lives Matter) a takeoff from the equally controversial #ALM (All Lives Matter)
      #FALM (Fetal-American Lives Matter)
      Note: A technical term of art used to socially distance technicians, abortionists/Planners, cannibals/Mengeles, and unexpectant mothers.

      Selective-child, one-child, reproductive rites, the fifth choice, Pro-Choice, the Wicked Solution has a long and Progressive history.

      • We had a senator propose an “All Lives Matter” bill in response to our recent BLM protests on indigenous incarceration/death(/any other treatment you’d like to think of) and she was basically mocked. It was black lives and only black lives that matters

  2. It is amazing that Black mothers have managed so well in Tropical and Saharan Africa for so long The statistics that show that all people are at greater health risk in low temperatures than high temperatures seems to have made no headway in this report.

    • And when I read this line from the report, “an increased risk of preterm birth for each 5.6 °C-increase in temperature”, my first thought was “That’s not Climate Change, that’s the difference between winter and summer!”

      Another stupid “study” with no controls for other likely factors as noted by Old England below

      • That’s less than half the difference between winter and summer.

        If this were true, it’s a good thing the maximum possible heat rise is only a few tenths of a degree.

  3. Were these studies all conducted with full screening to rule out or fully account for other potential factors such as:
    alcohol intake
    drug use (past or present)
    body weight and BMI
    whether or not the home had air conditioning
    ambient air quality around home to screen for PM levels

    If not then this study is both pointless and worthless.

    • The 57 studies that were conducted to find “that problem” ……. could hardly be described as pointless and worthless for/to the researchers that received the Grant funding.

    • exactly
      as well as age of mothers
      and how many were caesarians as well due to doc/mums wishes for a weekend off whatever
      I call bs and say peer reviews pal review considering their stated aims to find a link

    • Access to air conditioning is, I’m guessing, still subject to relative wealth/income?

      As for ancestral links to Sahara — I’m guessing that on that particular continent most people have always struggled more compared to us who enjoy all the luxuries of modern civilization. (I said while sitting in my non-airconiditioned home office barely functioning due to the 30 degrees Celsius heat wave)

      But this does not prove that CO2 is the magical knob that controls the climate. All it says is that if we continue to enjoy a warmer climate, it might be wise to invest in more AC and cheaper energy (bring out the nukes!).

  4. Wonder what the study will show if examining preterm births with aircon at the mothers residence..
    My understanding is that african-americans are overrepresented in the low income bracket, so maybe they can’t afford aircon. Maybe any preterm birth regardless of ethnicity can have lack of aircon (comfortable temperature and some air filtration) as a contributing factor.
    But that correlation is probably not palatable for the alarmists.

    • I recall reading that when adjusted for socio-economic status, black mothers have shorter gestational periods than whites, and whites shorter than Asians. Also, black infants at term are more developmentally advanced (eg, able to raise their heads shortly after birth) than white or Asian infants. Not all differences are pernicious.

  5. Let me understand this: “This systematic review involved a comprehensive search for primary literature in Cochrane Library, Cochrane Collaboration Registry of Controlled Trials, PubMed, website, and MEDLINE. ”

    1 Does this mean that CLINICAL TRIALS were undertaken to investigate the impact of heat, ozone and particles in the air? ie they exposed pregnant women to these conditions – elevated heat, elevated ozone, elevated particulate matter and then drew conclusions?

    2 The elevated heat : “an increased risk of preterm birth for each 5.6 °C-increase in temperature” 5.6 degrees C seems a LOT more than alarmists are forecasting. How many decades will it take – on contemporary alarmist figures – for average temperatures to increase this much?

    3 I saw nothing in the abstract that indicates that researchers attempted to eliminate other factors that might lead to pre-term births: eg smoking, drinking, drug use, strenuous exercise (or absence of any exercise), obesity, diabetes, being older than normal (or being younger than normal) etc etc

    In the absence of evidence for any such controls, I assume that the authors have confused co-incidence with causation. The study may have been peer-reviewed, but sadly, the quality of peer review in the social sciences does not have a high reputation

  6. How about a, “Study Black Children Especially at Risk From Planned Parenthood.” Just asking.

  7. JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association. This report is just additional evidence that the AMA is no longer a scientific/medical association, but a political advocacy group hiding behind the old acronym. The first three comments herein are right on the money, yes, WATTS readers cut directly to the chase. Stay sane and safe.

  8. Having lived in some really hot climates, I have never heard of the death at birth because of heat. Sure there are various reasons some babies will die, before or soon after birth, but I have never heard of heat being the cause.

  9. The subset of people best adapted to living in hot climates are at the greatest risk while giving birth if it ever gets warmer on earth?

    Let’s first stop killing those people by restricting funds for energy and economic development, then most of these women could deliver their babies in air conditioned buildings.

  10. remembering theres been data for some time on poorer mums having more babies born dead or not long after born, not just black either
    not surprising seeing the low IQ levels regards food hygeine and home environments usally less than well equipped ie slummy rentals or trailerparks etc
    mums who didnt want a kid couldnt get abortion and resent the baby
    hell of an argument for more birth control clinics not less and free pills to prevent the pregnancies no one wants.

  11. Other confounding variables have been mentioned above but not geography, pre-natal care, income source, how many illnesses the mother had during pregnancy, and how many siblings are in the home. Urban living and dependency on government (i.e. welfare) has some significant downsides that always seem to get missed in this type of study. Picking out heat and saying *it* is the issue that kills is just ludicrous.

    • “humanities and communications will be in the same cost bracket as law degrees”

      This can only be a good thing. Make it harder to access the teachings of the pedophile defenders Derrida and Foucault, absolutely. Twenty years ago if possible.

      • Had to chuckle with ScoMo slipping that in while Labor branch stacking crap has hit the fan in lefty Andrews Victoria reaching all the way to Federal Labor. Naturally the usual suspects at Aunty aren’t happy with what it means for the basket weaving/barista training mob but can’t get any traction under the circumstances. ScoMo’s a smart operator and he’s beginning to look more and more like John Howard with longevity. He was after all the architect of stopping the people smugglers when they said it couldn’t be done.

        • My dad always called the humanities “Underwater Basketweaving” and he’d have loved “barista training”! 😀

        • Yes that was beautifully done. The ABC managed to drag up an aspiring psychology student who now had to consider career prospects rather than just self interest in tonight’s new segment. Oh, the horror!

          Lara Tingle is sure to put on her best purse lipped, disapproving face for analysing this on The 7:30 Report next week

  12. Other confounding variables have been mentioned above but not geography, pre-natal care, income source, how many illnesses the mother had during pregnancy, and how many siblings are in the home. Urban living and dependency on government (i.e. welfare) has some significant downsides that always seem to get missed in this type of study. Picking out heat and saying *it* is the issue that causes death is just ludicrous.

    • Yes, they have said that, openly, both at protests and in other “science” papers.

      Parasites, bloodsuckers, vampires, SCUM.

  13. The average temperature in Maine is 43.7F while in Florida it is over 30 degrees higher at 75.1F. So I expect there is a very large disparity in Black pregnancy outcomes between these two States. Is there?

  14. Black women in the US aren’t working the fields anymore. They live and work in air-conditioned buildings.

  15. Epidemiology that sites percent changes is pretty well all crap. A small percent change in an event that hardly ever happens is just noise. That is why the source data is held back. Data is usually adjusted to provide the result which gains funding.

  16. Look at the National Archive Photo Collection [ ]. There are hundreds of pictures during the depression and WWII. What I found truly amazing was that those photos of the food lines and, in general, all people back in the 1930’s showed that the average weight was at least 50 pounds less for adults than the typical weight today. You could tell that they had not recently lost this weight, because, even while waiting in a food line for a meal, they were wearing a suit! I can not believe a person would buy a suit when they could not afford a meal. We have definitely become a nation of over-eaters and unhealthy eaters. greatly exceeding our healthy weight. Compare those old photos with the photos of the COVID19 food lines.

  17. 1. Presume warming
    2. Bury the world in derivative and tangential ‘studies’ and stories

    In controlled experiment, creatures baked in ovens show signs of distress
    Frogs will boil by 2060
    Geckos will burst into flame in the future
    How does Climate Change affect jaywalking?
    By the year 2500 Earth’s atmosphere will reach the melting point of steel

  18. Here’s a pretty good alternative hypothesis regarding preterm birth:

    Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations ≥40 ng/mL associated with 60% lower preterm birth risk among general obstetrical patients at an urban medical center

    Here is a pertinent fact from
    80%+ of Pregnant Woman and Virtually 100% of African American Woman are Vitamin D Deficient

    Here is a very good summary of the role of Vitamin D in gestational health of both mother and child. It’s a quick read, with lots of scientific papers to back up the observations:

    • I think they do better with skin cancer. But I am sure there is a study on ozone depletion somewhere which says they are more at risk.

  19. Unless the study went to great efforts to consider many possible confounding factors and successfully eliminate them, it is completely worthless.

    The NY Times article on the study mentions the urban heat island effect as one of the points of evidence — that those living in the hotter urban cores have worse outcomes that in the cooler suburbs.

    But anyone with the least analytic ability should realize that it is a VERY long way from noting this association to concluding that the higher temperatures are THE main causal (or even A causal) factor.

  20. Article is racist, stupid, old wives tale and a felony.

    It is akin to Nazi justifications for the holocaust.

  21. Hmm, so having an air conditioner and eating right has nothing to do with outcome? Otherwise the study would have identified “Poverty” as the risk factor…but nooo, let’s make up something we can tie to global warming. After all, people with very dark skin evolved in far northern climates where there is no heat problem so obviously they would be prone to harm from global warming. Oh, wait…

  22. “It is difficult to believe that people whose recent ancestors mostly came from Northern Europe are more able to tolerate heat than people whose ancestors mostly came from Africa. But these are peer reviewed studies.”
    Exactly my first thought as soon as I saw the headline.

    Just when I think (again) that they can’t come up with anything dumber….

  23. Birth rates per 1000 population in Africa are around 3x what they are in the west.

    They don’t seem to be getting put off by the heat, despite antiquated healthcare.

  24. Straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

    Without stereotyping all black women; just focusing on the large percentage who are low on the socioeconomic totem pole. They live in poor areas of cities which tend to have much higher particulate pollution than suburbs or rural areas, and they are less likely to avail themselves of free health care and prenatal services or take precautions for their own health or the health of their developing baby.

    The impact of personal choices far outweighs any supposed “climate impact” from “heat exposure” that is only modestly warmer than rural areas (due to the urban heat island effect), and that is increasing very modestly globally; approximately 1.4 C per century.

  25. I just seem to be unaware that black US mothers are not allowed access to A/C during delivery. It must be a law that I never heard of. Me bad. Seems racist to have such laws.

  26. Errr, yes , well…..

    How do black expectant mothers get on in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana…?
    Quite well if population figures are any guide

  27. This “study” is part of the plan to weaponize black Americans. “Reparations” are another. What can be bought, can be sold.

  28. I was thinking air conditioning could take care of this problem.
    See!!!!!! we do too believe in science.

  29. The alleged explanatory variables (heat, ozone, and PM25 exposure) WERE NOT MEASURED. They were estimated by such claptrap as distance to a freeway.

    The quacks researchers used bogus “indicators” instead of actual measurements, which were impossible to obtain because nobody measures their intake of particulates or ozone on a breath-by-breath basis.

    Then they had the unmitigated gall to apply “statistics” to their gobbledygook measurement-free junk “data”.

    If this kabuki puppet show fake false masquerade is accepted as “science” by the posers who edit JAMA, then Science is truly dead. Science has passed away, croaked, and kicked the bucket, and we need to bury the corpse before it stinks up the place. Cue the funeral march.

    • Actually it’s worse than that, much worse. The following may offend somebody, and if so, too bad.

      By some estimates six in ten black pregnancies end in abortion. Since Roe v. Wade (1973) 61.6 million abortions have been performed in the US, and 25-40% of those were on black women — in the last 47 years 15-25 million black babies have been aborted.

      Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist eugenicist and her goals were genocidal. Those goals were adopted and promulgated by the Democrat Party, the party of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation. Abortion “clinics” have been established in inner cities where the black population is greatest; cities run overwhelmingly by Democrats. Abortion is the single most important issue to Democrats.

      Abortion is taught in medical schools and studied by JAMA readers and adherents. When JAMA attempts to blame “climate” and “air pollution” for black pregnancy failure, they are covering up their own complicity in the largest genocide since Genghis Khan.

      Black Lives Matter supports and is a branch of the Democrat Party. BLM is thus also complicit in black genocide. They advocate for abortion of blacks, which is the exact opposite of their nominal mission.

      The JAMA “science” is a fraud designed to hide their monstrous participation in the ugliest chapter of human civilization: the deliberate genocide of a minority “race”.

  30. Does it not bother anyone else that this is a study of studies? How can you come up with any kind of numbers using this kind of varied data with any sort of accuracy. This is the science used to get the bogus 97%.

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