Stillbirths Higher in Areas Hit By Hurricanes Katrina And Rita: Study

"A new statistical review of stillbirths that occurred in Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita show they occurred more frequently in areas suffering the worst damage to individual homes, including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Vermilion parishes, according to a peer-reviewed study published Thursday (May 8).

The study by a team of demographers and epidemiologists that was published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health compared the outcome of failed pregnancies reported to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to records compiled by inspectors hired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to estimate damage to homes during the two storms.

The stillbirths are believed to have been caused by stress experienced by pregnant women in the aftermath of the storm, said Ian Breunig, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, one of the authors of the study."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune May 8, 2014.

Friday, May 9, 2014