Association between air pollution and preterm birth among neonates born in Isfahan, Iran



Background: Although several studies have investigated the association between maternal exposure to air pollution and preterm birth,
the results are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to further investigate the relation between maternal exposure to ambient air
pollution during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight (LBW) in an Iranian pregnant population. Materials
and Methods: In this study, we identified 4758 consecutive singleton birth records from one large referral hospital (2010-2012) in
Isfahan, Iran. We identified cases of preterm birth and LBW, which were combined with meteorological and air pollution monitoring
data. We estimated the effect of air pollution exposure during the entire pregnancy, each trimester, and last month, and preterm birth
(gestational age <37 weeks) and LBW (<2500 g) by Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) using logistic regression adjusted for gestational age, neonate gender, birth order, and mother’s age. Results: The PSI for entire pregnancy was significantly associated with preterm birth [Odds Ratio (95% CI) = 1.26 (1.20, 1.33)]. There was no association between maternal exposure to ambient air pollution and each trimester and the last month of pregnancy, and preterm birth or LBW. Conclusion: Maternal exposure to ambient air pollution
during the entire pregnancy was associated with preterm birth in Isfahani women.

Key words: Air pollution, low birth weight, Pollutant Standard Index, pregnancy outcome, premature birth, preterm delivery

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