Each year, approximately 9.9% of infants in the United States are born prematurely at less than 37 weeks of gestation with unidentified causes. From 2014 to 2016, the total preterm birth rate rose 3%, and late preterm birth rates rose almost 4%. One source of preterm labor that has been examined in recent years is its potential correlation with meteorological phenomena, including barometric pressure, temperature, and precipitation. In September of 2019, birth data recording 322 deliveries from two South Carolina hospitals was collected along with weather data on the given dates. The changes in temperature, barometric pressure, and precipitation for the day of each birth were calculated and paired with each individual. Simple linear regression analyses were used to determine the coefficient of correlation and statistical significance of individual factors. To examine the impact of multiple factors on preterm labor, multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. The individual simple regression tests revealed no statistically significant correlations between the number of weeks early that labor occurred and changes in pressure, temperature, or precipitation. One multiple regression test revealed a p-value of 0.064, indicating that the relationship between the number of weeks early and the combination of changes in pressure and precipitation was statistically significant at a 90% confidence level.
Fletcher, Allison K.
"The Effect of Barometric Pressure, Temperature, and Precipitation on Preterm Labor in Expecting Women in South Carolina,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 19
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol19/iss1/6