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Study examines affects of Fort McMurray fire on moms and babies

Last Updated Apr 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm MDT

Fort McMurray wildfire (Source: Canadian Red Cross)

Among the many studies launched following last year’s wildfire in Fort McMurray is one examining the impact the disaster had on pregnant mothers and their babies.

It’s estimated about 12 hundred women in the community were pregnant when the blaze hit.

University of Lethbridge neuro-scientist Gerlinde Metz says her team is now tracking about 200 new moms and their children.

“They’re hoping to develop biological signature just like a footprint of stress that is left behind by the traumatic stress associated with the wildfire and that could affect the health outcome,” says Dr. Metz.

Metz hopes the study will produce new strategies to help people facing disasters in the future.

Previous studies have shown pregnant women affected by a natural disaster tend to deliver early, children tend to be overweight, have high blood pressure and are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.