Study Links Air Pollution to a Higher Risk of Miscarriage


A study conducted by researchers from the University of Utah and published in Fertility and Sterility suggests short-term exposure to high levels of air pollution increases miscarriage risk. Air pollution has been linked to a number of adverse health effects — from asthma to sleep disorders and diabetes — and studies show pollutants in the air breathed in by expectant mothers can reach their unborn babies and lead to pre-term birth.

This retrospective study involved more than 1,300 women who sought medical care for miscarriage (up to 20 weeks gestation) at the University of Utah Health emergency department from 2007 to 2015. The researchers examined miscarriage risk during a 3-day or 7-day window of time after a spike in three common air pollutants in the area: small particulates, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. They found an increased risk of pregnancy loss in women exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide.

More research is needed, but the study authors suggest pregnant women should speak to their health care providers about any health concern — including poor air quality.

Sourced from: Fertility and Sterility