Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Association of Long-term Exposure to Airborne Particulate Matter of 1 mum or Less With Preterm Birth in China

TitleAssociation of Long-term Exposure to Airborne Particulate Matter of 1 mum or Less With Preterm Birth in China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWang, YY, Li, Q, Guo, Y, Zhou, H, Wang, X, Wang, Q, Shen, H, Zhang, Y, Yan, D, Zhang, Y, Zhang, H, Li, S, Chen, G, Zhao, J, He, Y, Yang, Y, Xu, J, Wang, Y, Peng, Z, Wang, HJ, Ma, X
JournalJAMA Pediatr
Date PublishedMar 5
ISBN Number2168-6203
Accession Number29297052

Importance: Airborne particulate matter pollution has been associated with preterm birth (PTB) in some studies. However, most of these studies assessed only populations living near monitoring stations, and the association of airborne particulate matter having a median diameter of 1 mum or less (PM1) with PTB has not been studied. Objective: To evaluate whether PM1 concentrations are associated with the risk of PTB. Design, Setting, and Participants: This national cohort study used National Free Preconception Health Examination Project data collected in 324 of 344 prefecture-level cities from 30 provinces of mainland China. In total, 1300342 healthy singleton pregnancies were included from women who were in labor from December 1, 2013, through November 30, 2014. Data analysis was conducted between December 1, 2016, and April 1, 2017. Exposures: Predicted weekly PM1 concentration data collected using satellite remote sensing, meteorologic, and land use information matched with the home addresses of pregnant women. Main Outcomes and Measures: Preterm birth (<37 gestational weeks). Gestational age was assessed using the time since the first day of the last menstrual period. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to examine the associations between trimester-specific PM1 concentrations and PTB after controlling for temperature, seasonality, spatial variation, and individual covariates. Results: Of the 1300342 singleton live births at the gestational age of 20 to 45 weeks included in this study, 104585 (8.0%) were preterm. In fully adjusted models, a PM1 concentration increase of 10 mug/m3 over the entire pregnancy was significantly associated with increased risk of PTB (hazard ratio [HR], 1.09; 95% CI, 1.09-1.10), very PTB as defined as gestational age from 28 through 31 weeks (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.18-1.23), and extremely PTB as defined as 20 through 27 weeks' gestation (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.25-1.34). Pregnant women who were older (30-50 years) at conception (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.11-1.14), were overweight before pregnancy (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.11-1.15), had a rural household registration (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.09-1.10), worked as farmers (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09-1.11), and conceived in autumn (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.46-1.50) appeared to be more sensitive to PM1 exposure than their counterparts. Conclusions and Relevance: Results from this national cohort study examining more than 1.3 million births indicated that exposure to PM1 air pollution was associated with an increased risk of PTB in China. These findings will provide evidence to inform future research studies, public health interventions, and environmental policies.