A time-series analysis of air pollution and preterm birth in Pennsylvania, 1997-2001.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Preterm delivery can lead to serious infant health outcomes, including death and lifelong disability. Small increases in preterm delivery risk in relation to spatial gradients of air pollution have been reported, but previous studies may have controlled inadequately for individual factors. Using a time-series analysis, which eliminates potential confounding by individual risk factors that do not change over short periods of time, we investigated the effect of ambient outdoor particulate matter with diameter < or = 10 microm (PM10) and sulfur dioxide on risk for preterm delivery. Daily counts of preterm births were obtained from birth records in four Pennsylvania counties from 1997 through 2001. We observed increased risk for preterm delivery with exposure to average PM10 and SO2 in the 6 weeks before birth [respectively, relative risk (RR) = 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.98-1.18 per 50 microg/m3 increase; RR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.00-1. 32 per 15 ppb increase], adjusting for long-term preterm delivery trends, co-pollutants, and offsetting by the number of gestations at risk. We also examined lags up to 7 days before the birth and found an acute effect of exposure to PM10 2 days and 5 days before birth (respectively, RR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00-1.21; RR = 1.07; 95% CI, 0.98-1.18) and SO2 3 days before birth (RR = 1.07; 95% CI, 0.99-1.15), adjusting for covariates, including temperature, dew point temperature, and day of the week. The results from this time-series analysis, which provides evidence of an increase in preterm birth risk with exposure to PM10 and SO2, are consistent with prior investigations of spatial contrasts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sagiv, SK; Mendola, P; Loomis, D; Herring, AH; Neas, LM; Savitz, DA; Poole, C

Published Date

  • May 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 602 - 606

PubMed ID

  • 15866770

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1257554

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-9924

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-6765

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1289/ehp.7646


  • eng