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Ramadan fasting not linked to pre-term births: Study

Published on Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM
 
Pregnant women who fasted during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan were no more likely to give birth prematurely than women who didn't observe the fast, but the babies of women who fasted were smaller on average, a Lebanese study has found.-- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

(REUTERS) - Pregnant women who fasted during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan were no more likely to give birth prematurely than women who didn't observe the fast, but the babies of women who fasted were smaller on average, a Lebanese study has found.

The researchers, whose findings appeared in BJOG: An International Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology, found no significant differences in the rate of births before the 37th week of pregnancy among 201 pregnant Beirut women who fasted during the daytime, compared with 201 women who didn't.

"Although results are reassuring as far as there is no increased risk of pre-term delivery, the fact that the mean birth weight was significantly lower in Ramadan-fasted women is alarming," said study leader Anwar Nassar, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre.

During Ramadan, the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the day.

 
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