About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Risk of Preterm Birth Increased by Exposure to Air Pollution

Font : A-A+

Highlights
  • Preterm birth increases risk of death and long-term disabilities.
  • Recent study suggests that maternal exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) could be a risk factor for preterm birth.
  • This suggests that air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly but it may also seriously affect a baby in its mother's womb.

Risk of Preterm Birth Increased by Exposure to Air Pollution

Outdoor exposure of pregnant women to fine ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) leads to preterm birth.

In 2010, about 2.7 million preterm births globally or 18% of all preterm births were associated with exposure to PM2.5.

Advertisement


The study was led by a team of researchers from The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York.

Major sources of PM2.5 are from diesel vehicles, to agricultural waste-burning. It is harmful to human health, as it can penetrate deep inside the lungs.
Advertisement

Results suggest that addressing this issue could save babies' lives and improve health outcomes.

Preterm Birth

Preterm birth occurs at less than 37 weeks of gestation. It increases the risk of death or long-term physical and neurological disabilities.

In 2010, there were an estimated 14.9 million preterm births. In some European countries preterm birth accounted around 4%-5% of the total births and in some African and South Asian countries, it accounted to 15%-18%.

The direct and indirect costs associated with preterm birth is huge.

There are many risk factors for preterm birth ranging from the mother's age, to illness, to poverty and other social factors.

But this research suggests that maternal exposure to air pollution could also be a risk factor.

Findings from the New Study

For the first time the new research quantifies the global impact air pollution by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates.

"This study highlights that air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly - it may also seriously affect a baby in its mother's womb," said Chris Malley, a researcher in SEI's York Centre, at the University of York, and lead author of the study.

"Preterm births associated with this exposure not only contribute to infant mortality, but can have life-long health effects in survivors.This study adds an important new consideration in measuring the health burden of air pollution and the benefits of mitigation measures," he said.

PM2.5-associated preterm births were largest in South Asia and East Asia , which together contributed about 75% of the global total.

India alone accounted for about one million of the total 2.7 million global estimate, and China for about another 500,000.

The numbers of preterm births were high in Western sub-Saharan Africa and the North Africa/Middle East region, with a large contribution from desert dust.

"There is uncertainty in these estimates because the concentration-response function we used is based mainly on studies in the United States and Europe," Malley said.

"Not only don't we know whether the relationship is the same at much higher concentrations, such as those found in some Indian or Chinese cities, but the prevalence of other risk factors also varies considerably. Expectant mothers in many places are also exposed to high levels of indoor pollution from cooking smoke. Resolving these uncertainties will require more studies in these countries and regions." Malley added.

"To reduce the PM2.5 problem, you need to control many different sources, but in many developing countries, certain emission sources dominate," said Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, co-author of the study, SEI's Policy Director.

"This includes emissions from cooking with biomass fuels (which is also associated with very harmful indoor pollution), diesel vehicles and other transport, and particles emitted when agricultural residues are burned in fields.In a city, maybe only half the pollution comes from sources within the city itself -- the rest will be transported there by the wind from other regions or even other countries. That means that often regional cooperation is needed to solve the problem." Kuylenstierna added.

The study is published in the journal Environment International.

Reference

  1. Chris Malley et al. Preterm birth associated with maternal fine particulate matter exposure: A global, regional and national assessment. Environment International ; (2017) doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2017.01.023


Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Get Involved and Stand Up for Human Rights on Human Rights Day 2022
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Macronutrients Calculator for Weight Loss
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pollution Air Pollution Top 10 Alarming Risks of Low Birthweight in Babies Link between Maternal Stress and Preterm Delivery 

Most Popular on Medindia

How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Color Blindness Calculator Find a Hospital Diaphragmatic Hernia Iron Intake Calculator Blood Pressure Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Indian Medical Journals Drug Side Effects Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Risk of Preterm Birth Increased by Exposure to Air Pollution Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests