Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and health risks for mother and child
Abstract: We had in the present thesis the unique possibility to use, in a socio-economically relatively homogenous population, high quality registry information on a population-based birth cohort (84 039 births during the period 1999-2005) in Scania (Skåne), the most Southern county of Sweden. The aim of the thesis was to investigate whether exposure to air pollution, in an area of low-levels exposures, during different periods of the pregnancy was associated with birth outcomes, pregnancy complications and risk of the child to develop type I diabetes (T1D). For all outcomes air pollution was assessed as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and traffic exposure. For T1D we also assessed the association with exposures to ozone. We did not find any consistent associations between air pollution and birth outcomes, whereas an increased prevalence of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia with increasing NOx exposure was observed. We did also find that the risk of developing T1D increased if the mother had lived in areas of elevated levels of NOx during third trimester or ozone during second trimester. Our studies suggest that air pollution during pregnancy might be a health risk for mother and child, even at levels below current air quality guidelines.
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