- A large retrospective study finds a small but significant decrease in birth weight and gestational age at delivery in women who travel by air during pregnancy.
Why this matters
- Inconclusive literature on the safety of air travel during pregnancy makes it difficult to advise pregnant women.
- 6.6% of pregnant women in this cohort traveled by air.
- Most flights occurred during the second trimester.
- During the study, the proportion of women who air-traveled during pregnancy increased between 2000 and 2014.
- Air travel was associated with small but significant decreases in birth weight (3269 vs 3263 g; P=.011) and gestational age at birth (39+0 vs 39+1 weeks; P<.0001>
- Observational retrospective cohort study.
- Cohort taken from the Maccabi Healthcare Services, an integrated care organization in Israel.
- Women who gave birth between 2000 and 2016 who purchased air travel insurance were compared with unexposed pregnancies.
- Primary outcomes included low birth weight and low gestational age at birth.
- Funding: None.
- Information about flight length not included.
- Other adverse risks related to air travel not included.
- Clinical significance of differences between groups is not clear.