What to Expect When It Gets Hotter: The Impacts of Prenatal Exposure to Extreme Heat on Maternal Health
We use temperature variation within narrowly-defined geographic and demographic cells to show that exposure to extreme heat increases the risk of maternal hospitalization during pregnancy for potentially life-threatening causes. We find that this effect is driven by women residing in historically cooler rather than hotter counties, suggesting that adaptation plays a role in mitigating the health impacts of weather shocks. We also find that the heat-induced deterioration in maternal pregnancy health is larger for black than for white mothers, suggesting that projected increases in extreme heat over the next century may further exacerbate the black-white maternal health gap.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26384