Sderot miscarriages linked to rocket attacks

Women from Sderot experienced a significant increase in miscarriages during a prolonged period of rocket attacks in the southern Israeli city, according to a recently published study.

The increase in miscarriages likely was due to a rise in stress, including the release of too much cortisol, a stress hormone, wrote Tamar Wainstock and professor Ilana Shoham-Vardi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s department of epidemiology.

The study was published last month in the Psychosomatic Medicine Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.

It compared miscarriages, called spontaneous abortions, or SA in the report, in women from Sderot and Kiryat Gat, two southern cities, between April 2004 and Dec. 27, 2008, when Operation Cast Lead broke out. After that point, Kiryat Gat also came under rocket fire.

“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, compared with women of similar demographic characteristics who were not exposed to missile-attack alarms or missile attacks,” according to the report. — jta