Aug 14, 2017

Researchers: sleep disorders linked to preterm births

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

Fear of coronavirus pandemic escalates

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health