Air pollution as bad as smoking for increasing the chances of a miscarriage | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 January,


Air pollution as bad as smoking for increasing the chances of a miscarriage

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Certain types of air pollution increase the risk of a miscarriage just as much as smoking, a study has found.

Researchers in the US found a 16 percent increase in the risk of miscarriage among women exposed to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide, a gas created by petrol and diesel vehicles.

The findings were described as “upsetting” by one of the doctors who led the study at the University of Utah.

The warning comes amid heightened concern over air pollution’s potential links to a growing list of diseases and conditions including stroke, dementia and autism.

Increased miscarriage risk The NHS says that among women who know they are pregnant, an estimated one in eight pregnancies ends in miscarriage, while many more occur before a woman is aware she has become pregnant.

The research into potential links with pollution saw doctors analyse the records of more than 1,300 women who sought help at the University of Utah’s emergency department following miscarriage between 2007 to 2015.

The team calculated the risk of miscarriage during periods of three or seven days after a spike in levels of common air pollutants including small particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.

They found an increased risk in miscarriage for women exposed to elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide, which equalled a rise of 16 percent for 10 parts per billion increase during a seven-day window.

The particulate matter did not significantly associate with an increased risk of miscarriage. Matthew Fuller, associate professor of surgery at the university, said: “The results of this study are upsetting, and we need to work together as a society to find constructive solutions.”

Upsetting results Dr Fuller said pregnant women should raise any health concerns they may have with their doctor.

They can also manage the risk by avoiding outdoor physical activity on poor air quality days.

The research comes as a mother won the right to a new inquest over whether air pollution caused the death of her nine-year-old daughter.

Ella Kissi-Debrah died in February 2013 after enduring a series of health complications that her mother believes were due to the high level of pollution in their local area in Lewisham, London. 

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