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Ambient fine particulate matter and preterm birth in California: Identification of critical exposure windows

TitleAmbient fine particulate matter and preterm birth in California: Identification of critical exposure windows
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSheridan P., Ilango S., Bruckner T.A, Wang Q., Basu R., Benmarhnia T.
Date Published2019/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0002-9262
Accession NumberWOS:000492998200005
Keywordsair pollution; air-pollution; association; birth outcomes; distributed-lag models; fetal-growth; fine particulate; identifying critical windows; impact; matter; pregnancy outcomes; preterm birth; Public, Environmental & Occupational Health; residential-mobility; susceptibility; to-event analysis; weight

Exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (particulate matter <= 2.5 mu m in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5)) during pregnancy is associated with preterm birth (PTB), a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Results from studies attempting to identify etiologically relevant exposure periods of vulnerability have been inconsistent, possibly because of failure to consider the time-to-event nature of the outcome and lagged exposure effects of PM2.5. In this study, we aimed to identify critical exposure windows for weekly PM2.5 exposure and PTB in California using California birth cohort data from 2005-2010. Associations were assessed using distributed-lag Cox proportional hazards models. We assessed effect-measure modification by race/ethnicity by calculating the weekly relative excess risk due to interaction. For a 10-mu g/m(3) increase in PM2.5 exposure over the entire period of gestation, PTB risk increased by 11% (hazard ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval: 1.09, 1.14). Gestational weeks 17-24 and 36 were associated with increased vulnerability to PM2.5 exposure. We find that non-Hispanic black mothers may be more susceptible to effects of PM2.5 exposure than non-Hispanic white mothers, particularly at the end of pregnancy. These findings extend our knowledge about the existence of specific exposure periods during pregnancy that have the greatest impact on preterm birth.

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