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Relationship between ambient air pollution (pm 2.5) and low birth weight deliveries in new jersey

Author: 
Owolabi Williams, Davidow Amy, Thomas Pauline, MangalaRajan, Nkemjika Stanley and Tokede Oluwatosin
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: A baby is said to be of low birth weight (LBW) if the estimated weight at birth is less than 2500g (5 pounds 8 ounces). LBW has serious and long lasting health implications for the baby, usually in the neonatal and infancy periods and may persist into adulthood. Several studies have been conducted in the past which looked into the relationship between exposure to ambient air pollution and the delivery of LBW babies with most of the studies concluding with inconsistent results. The goal of the study is to determine if an association exists between LBW and exposure of mothers to ambient air quality (PM2.5) in the first trimester of pregnancy in New Jersey. Method: A cross-sectional study using data derived from the 2008 Electronic Birth Certificates (EBC) for all live births to mothers residing in New Jersey and ambient air (PM2.5) data for 2007 and 2008 were obtained from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Both sets of data were merged using SAS and the resulting dataset was run through a series of linear and logistic regression steps to demonstrate any possible association. Result: Data analysis showed an increased risk for LBW with higher exposure to PM2.5, (unadjusted OR: 1.25, 95% CI 1.03-1.53, p<0.0271). Adjusted odds ratio for LBW was no longer statistically significant when the model included known risk factors for LBW. Conclusion: This study concludes thatPM2.5 exposure in the first trimester of pregnancy shows some positive association with LBW albeit weak with the condition compared with other known risk factors.

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