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The International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes: Initial Results

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Svetlana Glinianaia


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Background. The findings of prior studies of air pollution effects on adverse birth outcomes are difficult to synthesize due to differences in study design. Objectives. The International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcome was formed to understand how differences in research methods contribute to variations in findings. We initiated a feasibility study to: 1) assess the ability of geographically diverse research groups to analyze their datasets using a common protocol and 2) perform location-specific analyses of air pollution effects on birth weight using a standardized statistical approach. Results. Fourteen research groups from nine countries participated. We developed a protocol to estimate odds ratios (OR) for the association between particulate matter (PM10) and low birthweight (LBW) among term births, adjusted first for socioeconomic status and second for additional location-specific variables. Among locations with data for the PM10 analysis, ORs estimating the relative risk of term-LBW associated with a 10 μg/m3 increase in average PM10 concentration during pregnancy adjusted for socioeconomic status ranged from 0.63 (95% confidence interval, CI= 0.30, 1.35, the Netherlands) to 1.15 (CI=0.61, 2.18, Vancouver), with 6 research groups reporting statistically significant adverse associations. We found evidence of statistically significant heterogeneity in estimated effects among locations. Conclusions. Variability in PM10-LBW relationships among study locations remained, despite use of a common statistical approach. A more detailed meta-analysis and use of more complex protocols for future analysis may uncover reasons for heterogeneity across locations. However, our findings confirm the potential for a diverse group of researchers to analyze their data in a standardized way to improve understanding of air pollution effects on birth outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parker J, Rich DQ, Glinianaia SV, Leem JH, Wartenberg D, Bell ML, Bonzini M, Brauer M, Darrow L, Gehring U, Gouveia N, Grillo P, Ha E, van den Hooven EH, Jalaludin B, Jesdale BM, Lepeule J, Morello-Frosch R, Morgan GG, Slama R, Pierik FH, Pesatori AC, Sathyanarayana S, Seo J, Strickland M, Tamburic L, Woodruff TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Health Perspectives

Year: 2011

Volume: 119

Issue: 7

Pages: 1023-1028

Print publication date: 09/02/2011

ISSN (print): 0091-6765

ISSN (electronic): 1552-9924

Publisher: US Department of Health and Human Services


DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002725

PubMed id: 21306972


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