A strange study by UCLA. I’m not much of a scientist, but it feels as though their Civil War related findings are a bit slim. Meanwhile, the nutritional health of the mother played a huge role in the longevity of their children, but that part gets shunted to later in the end of the summary.
The study examined the records of 2,342 children of 732 POWs during the no-exchange period, 2,416 children of 715 POWs from the period when exchanges were common, and 15,145 children of 4,920 non-POW veterans. All of the children were born after 1866 and survived to at least age 45.
One of the most interesting findings was that sons born during the later months of the year to men who were POWs during the decline in conditions of Confederate camps fared better than sons who were born earlier in the year. Costa said that’s most likely because the mothers of the later time of year births had better access to nutrition during their pregnancies.
Among sons born in the fourth quarter to mothers with adequate nutrition during their pregnancies, there was no difference in the eventual death rates between sons of POWs and sons of non-POWS. In contrast, among sons born in the second quarter, when maternal nutrition was inadequate, the sons of ex-POWs who experienced severe hardship during captivity were 1.2 times more likely to die than the sons of ex-POWs who fared better in captivity and non-POWs.