One in 20 cases of pre-eclampsia may be linked to air pollutant

One in every 20 cases of the serious condition of pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, may be linked to increased levels of the air pollutant ozone during the first three months, suggests a large study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Mothers with asthma may be more vulnerable, the findings indicate.

Pre-eclampsia is characterised by raised blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine during pregnancy. It can cause serious complications, if left untreated.

The authors base their findings on almost 121,000 in Greater Stockholm, Sweden, between 1998 and 2006; national data on the prevalence of asthma among the children's mothers; and levels of the ozone and vehicle exhaust (nitrogen oxide) in the Stockholm area.

There's a growing body of evidence pointing to a link between air pollution and premature birth, say the authors, while pregnant women with asthma are more likely to have , including underweight babies and pre-eclampsia.

In all, 4.4% of the pregnancies resulted in a premature birth and the prevalence of pre-eclampsia was 2.7%.

There was no association between exposure to levels of and complications of pregnancy, nor were any associations found for any air pollutants and babies that were underweight at birth.

But there did seem to be a link between exposure to ozone levels during the first three months of pregnancy and the risk of premature birth (delivery before 37 weeks) and pre-eclampsia, after adjusting for factors likely to influence the results and in air pollutants, although not spatial variations in exposure.

Each rose by 4% for every 10 ug/m3 rise in ambient ozone during this period, the analysis indicated.

Mothers with asthma were 25% more likely to have a child born prematurely and 10% more likely to have pre-eclampsia than mums without this condition.

Asthma is an inflammatory condition and ozone may therefore have worsened respiratory symptoms and systemic inflammation, so accounting for the larger increase in the risk of premature birth among the mums with asthma, suggest the authors.

But after taking account of the mother's age, previous births, educational attainment, ethnicity, asthma, season and year of conception, the authors calculated that one in every 20 (5%) cases of pre-eclampsia were linked to during early pregnancy.

More information: www.bmjopen.bmj.com/lookup/doi… /bmjopen-2012-001955

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Genetics point to serious pregnancy complication

Nov 15, 2012

New research at the University of Adelaide has revealed a genetic link in pregnant mums - and their male partners - to pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening complication during pregnancy.

Recommended for you

US judge blocks enforcement of new abortion law

1 minute ago

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge's order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics ...

New toilets for India's poor, crime-hit village

22 hours ago

More than 100 new toilets were unveiled Sunday in a poverty-stricken and scandal-hit village in northern India, where fearful and vulnerable women have long been forced to defecate in the open.

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

User comments