Background: Maternal exposure to air pollution has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Few studies took into account the spatial and temporal variation of air pollution levels. Objectives: To evaluate the impact of maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy on preterm birth and term birth weight using a spatio-temporal exposure model. Methods: We estimated maternal residential exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM2.5) and soot during pregnancy (entire pregnancy, 1st trimester, and last month) for 3853 singleton births within the Dutch PIAMA prospective birth cohort study by means of temporally adjusted land-use regression models. Associations between air pollution concentrations and preterm birth and term birth weight were analyzed by means of logistic and linear regression models with and without adjustment for maternal physical, lifestyle, and socio-demographic characteristics. Results: We found positive, statistically non-significant associations between exposure to soot during entire pregnancy and during the last month of pregnancy and preterm birth [adj. OR (95% CI) per interquartile range increase in exposure 1.08 (0.88-1.34) and 1.09 (0.93-1.27), respectively]. There was no indication of an adverse effect of air pollution exposure on term birth weight. Conclusions: In this study, maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy was not associated with term birth weight. There was a tendency towards an increased risk of preterm birth with increasing air pollution exposure, but statistical power was low.

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Environmental Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gehring, U, Wijga, A.H, Fischer, P, de Jongste, J.C, Kerkhof, M, Koppelman, G.H, … Brunekreef, B. (2011). Traffic-related air pollution, preterm birth and term birth weight in the PIAMA birth cohort study. Environmental Research, 111(1), 125–135. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2010.10.004