Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Nov-Dec;121(11-12):1365-71. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206430. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Ambient air pollution and preeclampsia: a spatiotemporal analysis.

Author information

Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.



Available evidence concerning the association between air pollution and preeclampsia is limited, and specific associations with early- and late-onset preeclampsia have not been assessed.


We investigated the association, if any, between preeclampsia (all, early-, and late-onset) and exposure to nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5; fine particles), ≤ 10 μm, and 2.5-10 μm, and PM2.5 light absorption (a proxy for elemental carbon) during the entire pregnancy and during the first, second, and third trimesters.


This study was based on 8,398 pregnancies (including 103 cases of preeclampsia) among women residing in Barcelona, Spain (2000-2005). We applied a spatiotemporal exposure assessment framework using land use regression models to predict ambient pollutant levels during each week of pregnancy at the geocoded residence address of each woman at the time of birth. Logistic and conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted associations.


We found positive associations for most of our evaluated outcome-exposure pairs, with the strongest associations observed for preeclampsia and late-onset preeclampsia in relation to the third-trimester exposure to fine particulate pollutants, and for early-onset preeclampsia in relation to the first-trimester exposure to fine particulate pollutants. Among our investigated associations, those of first- and third-trimester exposures to PM2.5 and third-trimester exposure to PM2.5 absorbance and all preeclampsia, and third-trimester PM2.5 exposure and late-onset preeclampsia attained statistical significance.


We observed increased risk of preeclampsia associated with exposure to fine particulate air pollution. Our findings, in combination with previous evidence suggesting distinct pathogenic mechanisms for early- and late-onset preeclampsia, support additional research on this topic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center