Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

Ramadan during pregnancy: effects on health and fertility across the generations

Principal Investigator: Dr Fabienne Pradella
Approved Research ID: 87728
Approval date: December 14th 2022

Lay summary

Previous research shows that Ramadan (fasting) during pregnancy is associated with various adverse health and human capital outcomes over the life course of the offspring. Almost a quarter of the world population is Muslim, with most Muslim pregnancies overlapping with a Ramadan, and a majority of pregnant Muslims fasting at least part of the Ramadan. In this project, which will last 3 years, we will investigate transgenerational health effects of Ramadan during pregnancy. This means that if a woman practices Ramadan during pregnancy, not only the health of her children, but also their fertility patterns might be affected. In this sense, the grandchildren the woman who originally practiced Ramadan during pregnancy are also affected. There is evidence from other settings that such transgenerational effects do occur, but not yet for Ramadan observance. From a medical perspective, it is important to understand under what circumstances behavior during pregnancy does and does not affect the subsequent generations. And from a public health perspective, it would be important to know in case Ramadan (fasting) during pregnancy does have transgenerational health impacts, in order to enable pregnant Muslims to make informed decisions regarding their choices during Ramadan.