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PLoS One. 2017 Mar 2;12(3):e0173102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173102. eCollection 2017.

The annual carnival in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) is associated with an increase in the number of conceptions and subsequent births nine months later: 2000 - 2011.

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Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Pointe-à-Pitre/Abymes, Pôle Parent-Enfant, Service de Gynécologie et Obstétrique, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France.
Université des Antilles, Campus de Fouillole, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France.
Institut national de la santé et de la Recherche médicale (Inserm) U1085 - IRSET, Rennes, France.
Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France.


The seasonal patterns of conceptions and births differ between geographic areas. Several potential determinants of this variation have been identified, including biological, environmental and behavioral elements, but festive events are rarely mentioned. We investigated the possible association between the carnival and seasonal fertility variations in the French West Indies. We ran a retrospective registry-based study. The data were extracted from the registry of all births on Guadeloupe between 2000 and 2011 (n = 74,412), and from the Maternity Birth Register of the University Hospital, for all pregnancies of at least 14 completed weeks of gestation (observable conceptions) with an outcome recorded between 2007 and 2010 (n = 8,425). We compared data during and outside the carnival period for each year, including 2009, when there was no carnival due to a 44-day general strike. In all years other than 2009, the weekly number of births was higher for pregnancies initiated during the carnival period than for pregnancies initiated at other times, and the weekly number of observable conceptions was higher during the carnival period than at other times. Our findings support the hypothesis that carnivals in the French West Indies are associated with an increase in the number of conceptions and subsequent births.

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