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Matern Child Health J. 2012 Nov;16(8):1679-87. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0868-8.

Particulate pollutants and racial/ethnic disparity in feto-infant morbidity outcomes.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, 2 Tampa General Circle, Tampa, FL 33606, USA.


We sought to assess the association between air particulate pollutants and feto-infant morbidity outcomes across racial/ethnic subgroups. This is a retrospective cohort study from 2000 through 2007 based on three linked databases: (1) The Florida Hospital Discharge database; (2) The vital statistics records of singleton live births in Florida; (3) Air pollution and meteorological data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Using computerized mathematical modeling, we assigned exposure values of the air pollutants of interest (PM(2.5), PM(10) and the PM coarse fraction [PM(10) - PM(2.5)]) to mothers over the period of pregnancy based on Euclidean minimum distance from the air pollution monitoring sites. The primary outcomes of interest were: low birth weight, very low birth weight, preterm birth, very preterm birth, and small for gestational age (SGA). We used adjusted odds ratios to approximate relative risks. We observed increased risk for overall feto-infant morbidity outcome in women exposed to any of the three particulate pollutants (values above the median). Exposed women had increased odds for low birth weight, very low birth weight and preterm birth with the greatest risk being that for very low birth weight (AOR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.08-1.49). Black women exposed to any particulate pollutant had the greatest odds for all the morbidity outcomes, most pronounced for very low birth weight (AOR = 3.32, 95% CI = 2.56-4.30). Environmental particulate pollutants are associated with adverse feto-infant outcomes among exposed women, especially blacks. Black-white disparity in adverse fetal outcomes is widened in the presence of these pollutants, which provide a target for intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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