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World Med Health Policy. 2018 Mar;10(1):7-54. doi: 10.1002/wmh3.257. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Examining Joint Effects of Air Pollution Exposure and Social Determinants of Health in Defining "At-Risk" Populations Under the Clean Air Act: Susceptibility of Pregnant Women to Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy.

Author information

1
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Department in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
2
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Department in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and presently a research fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
3
University of Michigan-Dearborn, Department of Health & Human Services in Dearborn, Michigan.
4
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
5
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior & Health Education in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
6
Detroit Health Department in Detroit, Michigan.
7
Green Door Initiative in Detroit, Michigan.
8
University of California San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in San Francisco, California.
9
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Department and director of the Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease and director of the Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
10
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, associate director for the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, and co-lead for the Community Engagement Core for the Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
11
University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment in San Francisco, California.

Abstract

Pregnant women are uniquely susceptible to adverse effects of air pollution exposure due to vulnerabilities and health consequences during pregnancy (e.g., hypertensive disorders of pregnancy [HDP]) compared to the general population. Because the Clean Air Act (CAA) creates a duty to protect at-risk groups, the regulatory assessment of at-risk populations has both policy and scientific foundations. Previously, pregnant women have not been specially protected in establishing the margin of safety for the ozone and particulate matter (PM) standards. Due to physiological changes, pregnant women can be at greater risk of adverse effects of air pollution and should be considered an at-risk population. Women with preexisting conditions, women experiencing poverty, and groups that suffer systematic discrimination may be particularly susceptible to cardiac effects of air pollutants during pregnancy. We rigorously reviewed 11 studies of over 1.3 million pregnant women in the United States to characterize the relationship between ozone or PM exposure and HDP. Findings were generally mixed, with a few studies reporting a joint association between ozone or PM and social determinants or pre-existing chronic health conditions related to HDP. Adequate evidence associates exposure to PM with an adverse effect of HDP among pregnant women not evident among non-gravid populations.

KEYWORDS:

air pollution; cardiovascular disease; pregnancy

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