Differences in environmental factors contributing to preterm labor and PPROM – Population based study

Roni Gat, Eric Kachko, Itai Kloog, Offer Erez, Maayan Yitshak-Sade, Victor Novack, Lena Novack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Previous reports indicate an association between ambient temperature (Ta) and air pollution exposure during pregnancy and preterm birth (PTB). Nevertheless, information regarding the association between environmental factors and specific precursors of spontaneous preterm birth is lacking. We aimed to determine the association between Ta and air pollution during gestation and the precursors of spontaneous preterm parturition, i.e. preterm labor (PTL) and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM). Methods: From 2003 to 2013 there were 84,476 deliveries of singleton gestation that comprised the study cohort. Exposure data during pregnancy included daily measurements of temperature and particulate matter <2.5 μm and <10 μm, PM2.5 and PM10, respectively. Deliveries were grouped into PPROM, PTL and non-spontaneous preterm and term deliveries. Exposure effect was tested in windows of a week and two days prior to admission for delivery and adjusted to gestational age and socio-economic status. Poisson regression models were used for analyses. Results: There is an association of environmental exposure with the precursors of spontaneous preterm parturition; PPROM was more sensitive to Ta fluctuations than PTL. This effect was modified by the ethnicity, Bedouin-Arabs were susceptible to elevated Ta, especially within the last day prior to admission with PPROM (Relative Risk (RR) =1.19 [95% CI, 1.03; 1.37]). Jews, on the other hand, were susceptible to ambient pollutants, two (RR=1.025 [1.010; 1.040]) and one (RR= 1.017 [1.002; 1.033]) days prior to spontaneous PTL with intact membranes resulting in preterm birth. Conclusion: High temperature is an independent risk factor for PPROM among Bedouin-Arabs; ambient pollution is an independent risk factor for spontaneous PTL resulting in preterm birth. Thus, the precursors of spontaneous preterm parturition differ in their association with environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110894
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Air pollution (AP)
  • Air temperature (Ta)
  • Indicated preterm delivery
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM)
  • Preterm labor
  • Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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