Air Pollution, Blood Pressure, and the Risk of Hypertensive Complications During Pregnancy The Generation R Study

Edith Hooven, Y (Yvonne) de Kluizenaar, FH Pierik, Bert Hofman, SW van Ratingen, PYJ Zandveld, Johan Mackenbach, Eric Steegers, HME Miedema, Vincent Jaddoe

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Exposure to air pollution is associated with elevated blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. We assessed the associations of exposure to particulate matter (PM(10)) and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) levels with blood pressure measured in each trimester of pregnancy and the risks of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia in 7006 women participating in a prospective cohort study in the Netherlands. Information on gestational hypertensive disorders was obtained from medical records. PM(10) exposure was not associated with first trimester systolic and diastolic blood pressure, but a 10-mu g/m(3) increase in PM(10) levels was associated with a 1.11-mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43 to 1.79) and 2.11-mm Hg (95% CI 1.34 to 2.89) increase in systolic blood pressure in the second and third trimester, respectively. Longitudinal analyses showed that elevated PM(10) exposure levels were associated with a steeper increase in systolic blood pressure throughout pregnancy (P<0.01), but not with diastolic blood pressure patterns. Elevated NO(2) exposure was associated with higher systolic blood pressure levels in the first, second, and third trimester (P<0.05), and with a more gradual increase when analyzed longitudinally (P<0.01). PM(10) exposure, but not NO(2) exposure, was associated with an increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension (odds ratio 1.72 [95% CI 1.12 to 2.63] per 10-mu g/m(3) increase). In conclusion, our results suggest that air pollution may affect maternal cardiovascular health during pregnancy. The effects might be small but relevant on a population level. (Hypertension. 2011;57:406-412.). Online Data Supplement
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)406-U138
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-52-01-A
  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-01
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-02
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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