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February 25, 2013 2:06 pm

Study: Gaza Rocket Attacks Increase Miscarriage Risk for Israeli Women

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Israeli children take cover under their desks in a classroom.

A research team in the Health Sciences Faculty at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beersheba has revealed a significant correlation between preconception and pregnancy stress in the southern Israeli city of Sderot and spontaneous abortion (SA), also known as miscarriage.

The research team from BGU is calling on the Israeli government to draft a policy that will help to reduce the effects of stress on reproductive health, Israel Hayom reported.

Sderot has long suffered Gazan terrorists’ rocket attacks. Research compared the miscarriage rates of residents of Sderot and Kiryat Gat, the latter city not being strongly affected by rocket attacks until Operation Cast Lead broke out in December 2008.

Both cities are located at a similar distance from Barzilai Medical Center, where researchers looked at data from April 2004 to December 27, 2008, the day that Operation Cast Lead began and Kiryat Gat too fell under the radar of the Gazan terrorists’ scope.

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Tamar Wainstock and Professor Ilana Shoham-Vardi from the epidemiology department in the health sciences faculty at BGU completed the study, which included records of 3,488 pregnancies of 2,937 women, 1,132 from Sderot and 1,805 from Kiryat Gat.

Of the 1,132 Sderot cases, only seven of the women had never heard a rocket-warning siren before.

“The findings demonstrate a significantly increased risk of SA among women exposed to potentially life-threatening situations for a prolonged period, both before and during pregnancy,” an article written about the study and published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal said.

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