A sizeable new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reveals the overlap between women with asthma and their significantly increased chances of delivering premature babies. While scientists knew that ambient air pollutants could increase the risk of preterm birth, the interaction of asthma and pollution in a specific window of time is rarely studied. The study suggests that mothers with asthma may experience a higher risk for preterm birth after exposure to traffic-related pollutants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. This risk is particularly high for exposures 3-months preconception and in the early weeks of pregnancy. Find out how you can get involved in climate solutions as a health care professional.
By Nicholas Bakalar I March 9, 2016
A new study suggests that women with asthma exposed to air pollution, even before conception, significantly increase their risk of delivering a premature baby.
Researchers studied 223,502 pregnancies among 204,175 women in 19 hospitals across the United States, gathering data on air quality in each region.
The study, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that all women with asthma were more likely than those without to deliver preterm. But there were significant increases in preterm birth in asthmatic women exposed to air pollution, including traffic-related pollutants.
Air pollution also appeared to take a toll even before conception. Asthmatic women exposed to pollutants in the three months before conception were at a 28 percent higher risk for preterm birth than women without asthma exposed at the same time in the same conditions.
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