SEATTLE, July 8 (UPI) — Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy does not appear to increase the risk of preterm delivery or pre-eclampsia, a U.S. researcher says.
Carole Rudra of the University at Buffalo in New York says strong evidence that air pollutants may increase risk of cardiovascular disease led her to examine air pollutants in relation to a complication of pregnancy — similar in some ways to cardiovascular disease — known as pre-eclampsia. In pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week can result in preterm delivery.
However, an analysis of the data could not find an association between the amount of air pollutant exposure at the mother’s residence — as measured by exposure to concentrations of carbon monoxide and by exposure to minute airborne particles during specific times during the pregnancy — and the pregnancy complications.
“In this geographic setting and population, these two air pollutant exposures do not appear to increase risks of pre-eclampsia and pre-term delivery,” Rudra says in a statement.
The research, conducted in the region around Seattle was based on data from 3,675 women enrolled in the Omega Study, an investigation of the effects of diet and environment on women’s health and nutrition before and during pregnancy.
Rudra presented the results in Seattle at the annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.
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