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M. Spencer Green/AP

Researchers have discovered a link between premature births and sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea, according to Nature.

  • The study is part of a $100 million investigation of prematurity in California and East Africa called the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative. Researchers looked at the "records of almost three million births that took place in California between 2007 and 2012" and found 2,300 records of women diagnosed with a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea. Among them, insomnia increased the risk of preterm birth by 30%; sleep apnea increased the risk by 40%. (Prematurity is defined as being born three weeks or more before full term.)
  • Sleep disorders aren't a direct cause of preterm births. Jennifer Felder, leader of the study and postdoctoral researcher in clinical psychology at UCSF, said that lack of sleep could cause inflammation, which could lead to prematurity.
  • Why it matters: Nature reports that 15 million babies are born prematurely across the globe each year, and 1.1 million will die from complications.

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
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  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
1 hour ago - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

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