Babies born at night have higher risk of encephalopathy, Californian study shows

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 07 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7036
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

A study of nearly two million babies born at full term in California between 1999 and 2002 showed that those born at night had a higher risk of encephalopathy.

The increase in risk is small, and the causes are not clear, says the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (doi:10.1016/ajog.2010.09.022). The risk of encephalopathy among babies born during the day is about 1.1 per 1000 births, while it is 1.3 per 1000 births among those born at night. The risk is highest for babies born between 10 pm and 4 am. These babies had a 22% higher risk of neonatal encephalopathy than babies born between 7 …

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