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Maternal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been associated with increased risk of preterm birth (PTB), but evidence on particles in smaller sizes and PTB risk remains limited. In this retrospective analysis, we included birth records of 24,001 singleton live births from Haidian Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Beijing, China, 2014-2017. Concurrently, number concentrations of size-fractioned particles in size ranges of 5-560 nm (PNC5-560) and mass concentrations of PM2.5, black carbon (BC) and gaseous pollutants were measured from a fixed-location monitoring station in central Haidian District. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of air pollutants on PTB risk after controlling for temperature, relative humidity, and individual covariates (e.g., maternal age, ethnicity, gravidity, parity, gestational weight gain, fetal gender, the year and season of conception). Positive matrix factorization models were then used to apportion the sources of PNC5-560. Among the 1062 (4.4%) PTBs, increased PTB risk was observed during the third trimester of pregnancy per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 [OR = 1.92; 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI): 1.76, 2.09], per 1000 particles/cm3 increase in PNC25-100 (OR = 1.09; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.15) and PNC100-560 (OR = 1.22; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.42). Among the identified sources of PNC5-560, emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles were significantly associated with increased PTB risk, with ORs of 1.14 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.29) and 1.11 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.18), respectively. Exposures to other traffic-related air pollutants, such as BC and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were also significantly associated with increased PTB risk. Our findings highlight the importance of traffic emission reduction in urban areas. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Jiakun Fang, Ying Yang, Xiaoxuan Zou, Hongbing Xu, Shuo Wang, Rongshan Wu, Jiajing Jia, Yunfei Xie, Haishan Yang, Ningman Yuan, Meina Hu, Yuzhi Deng, Yinzhu Zhao, Tong Wang, Yutong Zhu, Xu Ma, Meng Fan, Jianbin Wu, Xiaoming Song, Wei Huang. Maternal exposures to fine and ultrafine particles and the risk of preterm birth from a retrospective study in Beijing, China. The Science of the total environment. 2022 Mar 15;812:151488

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PMID: 34742962

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