People born during whooping cough outbreaks are more likely to die prematurely even if they survive into adulthood, a new study has revealed.
The research conducted at Lund University in Sweden has found that women had a 20 percent higher risk of an early death, and men a staggering 40 percent.
It was suggested that women also suffered more complications during and after pregnancy, with an increased risk of miscarriage as well as infant death within the first month of life.
"The results show the importance of following up patients with exposure to whooping cough in childhood, particularly pregnant women", Luciana Quaranta, the PhD candidate at the university said.
The landmark study used a globally unique database, the Scanian Economic Demographic Database, based on data from Sweden's extensive population registers.
Quaranta mapped five communities between 1813 and 1968, in an effort to understand how conditions at birth, such as socioeconomic status and exposure to infectious diseases, affect us later in life.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, was widely considered to have been all but eradicated in many developed countries until recently.