Pol­lu­tion warn­ing for preg­nant moth­ers

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -

Preg­nant women are at an in­creased risk of mis­car­ry­ing if they are ex­posed to el­e­vated lev­els of a type of air pol­lu­tion, a study sug­gests.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Utah found a 16% 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.

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

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 and 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.

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