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Associations between PM(2.5) and Risk of Preterm Birth among Liveborn Infants


Alman, Breanna L.; Stingone, Jeanette A.; Yazdy, Mahsa; Botto, Lorenzo D.; Desrosiers, Tania A.; Pruitt, Shannon; Herring, Amy H.; Langlois, Peter H.; Nembhard, Wendy N.; & Shaw, Gary M., et al. (2019). Associations between PM(2.5) and Risk of Preterm Birth among Liveborn Infants. Annals of Epidemiology, 39, 46-53.e2. PMCID: PMC7315599


PURPOSE: Studies suggest exposure to ambient particulate matter less than 2.5 μg/m(3) in aerodynamic diameter (PM(2.5)) may be associated with preterm birth (PTB), but few have evaluated how this is modified by ambient temperature. We investigated the relationship between PM(2.5) exposure during pregnancy and PTB in infants without birth defects (1999-2006) and enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and how it is modified by concurrent temperature. METHODS: PTB was defined as spontaneous or iatrogenic delivery before 37 weeks. Exposure was assigned using inverse distance weighting with up to four monitors within 50 kilometers of maternal residence. To account for state-level variations, a Bayesian two-level hierarchal model was developed. RESULTS: PTB was associated with PM(2.5) during the third and fourth months of pregnancy (range: (odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 1.00 (0.35, 2.15) to 1.49 (0.82, 2.68) and 1.31 (0.56, 2.91) to 1.62 (0.7, 3.32), respectively); no week of exposure conveyed greater risk. Temperature may modify this relationship; higher local average temperatures during pregnancy yielded stronger positive relationships between PM(2.5) and PTB compared to nonstratified results. CONCLUSIONS: Results add to literature on associations between PM(2.5) and PTB, underscoring the importance of considering co-exposures when estimating effects of PM(2.5) exposure during pregnancy.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Annals of Epidemiology


Alman, Breanna L.
Stingone, Jeanette A.
Yazdy, Mahsa
Botto, Lorenzo D.
Desrosiers, Tania A.
Pruitt, Shannon
Herring, Amy H.
Langlois, Peter H.
Nembhard, Wendy N.
Shaw, Gary M.
Olshan, Andrew F.
Luben, Thomas J.
the National Birth Defects Prevention Study,