Exposure to ambient air pollution as a risk factor for low birth-weight

Natalya Bilenko, Michal Ashin, Michael Friger, Ruslan Sergienko, Eyal Sheiner

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Air pollution is a major cause of poor health worldwide. The present prospective study was aimed to examine whether maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution and noise is associated with low birth-weight of the offspring.
Study Design
In this prospective study, we interviewed pregnant women who were enrolled to Maternal and Child Health Clinics between the years 2013-2016. The questionnaire consisted of personal and health information. Follow-up was performed until delivery. Data on birth-weight and additional measurements during the pregnancy were recorded from the hospital files. Ambient air pollution level was calculated using the AERMOD pollutant dispersion model. Environmental traffic noise was measured using a portable dosimeter. The impact of ambient air pollution on birth weight was examined using a linear multi-variable analysis.

During the study period, 285 pregnant women were enrolled. The average birth weight was 3,205+556.1 grams and 18 (7.1%) were born with low birth-weight (defined as birth-weight lower than 2500 grams). Average concentration of nitrogen oxides was 245+83.2 microgram/m3. Average traffic noise measured was 64+6.9 dB(A). A significant negative correlation was noted between nitrogen oxides concentration and birth weight (R= -0.39; P=0.001; Figure). No association was noted between traffic noise and low birth-weight (R=0.02; P=0.776), although the level of traffic noise was significantly correlated with nitrogen oxides concentration (R= 0.16; P=0.028). Using a multiple linear regression model, controlling for confounders such as BMI and parity, ambient air pollution was noted as an independent risk factor for low birth weight (adjusted OR=-1.9, 95% CI -2.8 ;-1.0; P=0.001).
Maternal exposure to ambient air pollution is a risk factor for low birth-weight of the offspring.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)S296-S297
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


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