The impact of air pollution on pregnancy outcomes: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran.

2 Student of Ph.D. by Research, Psychosocial Injuries Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran.

3 M.Sc. Student of Agronomy, School of Agriculture, Khuzestan Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University, Khuzestan, Ahvaz, Iran.


Introduction: Birth defects, premature birth, low birth weight and intrauterine growth retardation are major causes of neonatal death and disability in the other time of life. Because the evaluation of factors influencing pregnancy is an obstetric important issue, therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the impact of air pollution on pregnancy outcomes.
Methods: A systematic review was carried out to identify published literature from 1990 to 2013 using keywords air pollution, dust storm, human health and pregnancy outcomes in Pubmed, Google Scholars, Springer, Magiran, Science Direct and Iran Medex databases.
Results: The evidence was sufficient to infer a causal relationship between particulate air pollution and respiratory deaths in the post neonatal period. Also, air pollution was associated with low birth weight and intrauterine growth retardation. There was a relationship between high level of air pollution and DNA damage in newborns. Also high level of air pollution can increase mortality and morbidity in childhood and an elevated risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes in adulthood.
Conclusion: Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may increase adverse pregnancy outcomes and impact on the growth and health of the other stages of life.


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