Air pollution and birth outcomes: a systematic review
ABSTRACT Several mechanisms are suspected to underlie adverse birth outcomes among mothers exposed to air pollutants, including inflammation, direct toxic effects on fetuses and the placenta, displacement of the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve, and formation of DNA adducts.
To systematically review the association between air pollutants and birth outcomes of low birth weight (LBW), preterm (PTB) and small for gestational age (SGA) births.
Electronic databases and bibliographies of identified articles were searched for English language studies reporting on birth outcomes. Included studies were assessed for risks of bias in the selection, exposure assessment, confounder adjustment, analyses, outcomes assessment, and attrition. Unadjusted and adjusted estimates from included studies were extracted. Methodological differences between the studies were evaluated.
A total of 41 studies, mostly with a moderate risk of biases due to indirect assessment methods employed, met the eligibility criteria. Exposure to sulphur dioxide was associated with PTB, exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) of ≤2.5 μM was associated with LBW, PTB and SGA births, and exposure to coarse PM of ≤10 μM was associated with SGA births. The evidence for nitrous oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide was inconclusive.
Reported associations, and lack thereof, between individual air pollutants and birth outcomes have differed across published studies. This heterogeneity and/or absence of association may be due to difficulty in quantifying exposure, method of ascertainment, time of measurement and collinearity between pollutants. Important future research directions include developing improved methods to detect the duration and intensity of exposure, including entire populations, as well as performing well-designed nested studies that ascertain complete outcomes, avoiding residual confounding, and adjusting for residential mobility.
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ABSTRACT: Air pollution has been linked to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) but no studies have evaluated impact of preconception and early pregnancy air pollution exposures on GDM risk. Electronic medical records provided data on 219,952 singleton deliveries to mothers with (n=11,334) and without GDM (n=208,618). Average maternal exposures to particulate matter (PM) ≤ 2.5μm (PM2.5) and PM2.5 constituents, PM ≤ 10μm (PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) were estimated for the 3-month preconception window, first trimester, and gestational weeks 1-24 based on modified Community Multiscale Air Quality models for delivery hospital referral regions. Binary regression models with robust standard errors estimated relative risks (RR) for GDM per interquartile range (IQR) increase in pollutant concentrations adjusted for study site, maternal age and race/ethnicity. Preconception maternal exposure to NOX (RR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.13) and SO2 (RR=1.05, 1.01, 1.09) were associated with increased risk of subsequent GDM and risk estimates remained elevated for first trimester exposure. Preconception O3 was associated with lower risk of subsequent GDM (RR=0.93, 0.90, 0.96) but risks increased later in pregnancy. Maternal exposures to NOx and SO2 preconception and during the first few weeks of pregnancy were associated with increased GDM risk. O3 appeared to increase GDM risk in association with mid-pregnancy exposure but not in earlier time windows. These common exposures merit further investigation. Published by Elsevier Inc.Environmental Research 01/2015; 137C:316-322. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2014.12.020 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to particulate air pollution and socioeconomic risk factors are shown to be independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes; however, their confounding relationship is an epidemiological challenge that requires understanding of their shared etiologic pathways affecting fetal-placental development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the etiological mechanisms associated with exposure to particulate air pollution in contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes and how these mechanisms intersect with those related to socioeconomic status. Here we review the role of oxidative stress, inflammation and endocrine modification in the pathoetiology of deficient deep placentation and detail how the physical and social environments can act alone and collectively to mediate the established pathology linked to a spectrum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We review the experimental and epidemiological literature showing that diet/nutrition, smoking, and psychosocial stress share similar pathways with that of particulate air pollution exposure to potentially exasperate the negative effects of either insult alone. Therefore, socially patterned risk factors often treated as nuisance parameters should be explored as potential effect modifiers that may operate at multiple levels of social geography. The degree to which deleterious exposures can be ameliorated or exacerbated via community-level social and environmental characteristics needs further exploration.Journal of Environmental and Public Health 11/2014; 2014. DOI:10.1155/2014/901017
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate associations between traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and preterm birth in births in four counties in California during years 2000 to 2006. We used logistic regression to examine the association between the highest quartile of ambient air pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter <10 and 2.5 μm) and traffic density during pregnancy and each of five levels of prematurity based on gestational age at birth (20-23, 24-27, 28-31, 32-33, and 34-36 weeks) versus term (37-42 weeks). We examined trimester averages and the last month and the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Models were adjusted for birthweight, maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, prenatal care, and birth costs payment. Neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) was evaluated as a potential effect modifier. There were increased odds ratios (ORs) for early preterm birth for those exposed to the highest quartile of each pollutant during the second trimester and the end of pregnancy (adjusted OR, 1.4-2.8). Associations were stronger among mothers living in low SES neighborhoods (adjusted OR, 2.1-4.3). We observed exposure-response associations for multiple pollutant exposures and early preterm birth. Inverse associations during the first trimester were observed. The results confirm associations between traffic-related air pollution and prematurity, particularly among very early preterm births and low SES neighborhoods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Annals of Epidemiology 10/2014; 24(12):888-895.e4. DOI:10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.10.004 · 2.15 Impact Factor