The American Journal of Epidemiology prominently featured our chair’s research on the impact of Ramadan during pregnancy on the health of the offspring.
The paper Ramadan Exposure In utero and Child Mortality in Burkina Faso: Analysis of a Population-Based Cohort Including 41,025 Children (joint work with researchers from Heidelberg and from Nouna, Burkina Faso) showed that Ramadan during pregnancy among Muslims in Burkina Faso is associated with a considerably higher mortality rate among children under 5 years of age. As part of a “High Priority Grouping”, invited commentaries by Susanne de Rooij and Aryeh Stein discuss the implications of these findings for public health and future research. In an invited response, we reply to both and highlight the potential that econometric methods in some cases offer to the field of epidemiology.
Another paper in the same issue, As long as the breath lasts. In utero exposure to Ramadan and the occurrence of wheezing in adulthood, shows that adult Muslims in Indonesia whose mothers were pregnant during a Ramadan are more likely to suffer from wheezing, a main symptom of obstructive airway disease. Effects increase with age and are strongest among smokers.