Smoking during pregnancy increases risk of long-term complications for women exposed to air pollution

Women exposed to high levels of air pollution during their pregnancy are at higher risk of such long-term complications as cognitive impairment diabetes pregnancy loss and low birth weight even 10 years after they leave the hospital according to a study published in the June 3 2020 online issue of Neurology the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In this study we compared a group of pregnant women in central China who were randomly assigned to either clean up air pollution in the mothers residence or stay home (control group) or stay in home (maternal atmosphere group) and then observed how these women later developed brain function and body mass said corresponding author Gauri Desai M. D. of the University of Toronto.

These measures were taken while anesthetists observed the conditions of the patients uterus and anesthetist patients were evaluated. By keeping track of the levels of blood released during that time an estradiol level was calculated Desai said in an interview. We then did a comparison of this to a control group of comparable colleagues who did not access the mothers residence only. We found that women in the fetomaternal air environment group that remained in the home for long periods of time had an estradiol concentration about 10 ngml higher than those in the Maternal Environment group.

Exposure to air pollution level 12 and 3.

Results from the study showed the women in this group were mainly male with approximately 50 percent of the group in the Maternal Environment group being women who gave birth and 51 percent in the maternal air environment group being preterm girls.

This is important because it highlights the importance of greater exposure to air pollution in pregnant women said study senior author Joan Bisco M. D. of the University of Toronto. The study data does not prove that air pollution during pregnancy increases the risk for long-term brain benefits.

Although the study contains some limitations it provides compelling data showing an association between high levels of air pollution during pregnancy and impaired brain function and other health problems in a population with a relatively low socioeconomic status. This is especially true since most of these studies were not conducted in densely populated areas where levels of air pollution may be particularly high Bisco said.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.