Ambient particle components and newborn blood pressure in project viva

Antonella Zanobetti, Brent A. Coull, Heike Luttmann-Gibson, Lenie van Rossem, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Itai Kloog, Joel D. Schwartz, Emily Oken, Jennifer F. Bobb, Petros Koutrakis, Diane R. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Both elemental metals and particulate air pollution have been reported to influence adult blood pressure (BP). The aim of this study is to examine which elemental components of particle mass with diameter ≤2.5 Μm (PM2.5) are responsible for previously reported associations between PM2.5 and neonatal BP. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 1131 mother-infant pairs in Project Viva, a Boston-area prebirth cohort. We measured systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) at a mean age of 30 hours. We calculated average exposures during the 2 to 7 days before birth for the PM2.5 components-aluminum, arsenic, bromine, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, nickel, vanadium, titanium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sodium, chlorine, calcium, and lead-measured at the Harvard supersite. Adjusting for covariates and PM2.5, we applied regression models to examine associations between PM2.5 components and median SBP and DBP, and used variable selection methods to select which components were more strongly associated with each BP outcome. We found consistent results with higher nickel associated with significantly higher SBP and DBP, and higher zinc associated with lower SBP and DBP. For an interquartile range increase in the log Z score (1.4) of nickel, we found a 1.78 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.72-2.84) increase in SBP and a 1.30 (95% CI, 0.54-2.06) increase in DBP. Increased zinc (interquartile range log Z score 1.2) was associated with decreased SBP (-1.29 mm Hg; 95% CI, -2.09 to -0.50) and DBP (-0.85 mm Hg; 95% CI: -1.42 to -0.29). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that prenatal exposures to particulate matter components, and particularly nickel, may increase newborn BP.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere016935
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • Air pollution
  • Child blood pressure
  • Metals
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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