Chronic Air Pollution Exposure during Pregnancy and Maternal and Fetal C-Reactive Protein Levels: The Generation R Study

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

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BACKGROUND: Exposure to air pollution has been associated with higher C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, suggesting an inflammatory response. Not much is known about this association in pregnancy. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the associations of air pollution exposure during pregnancy with maternal and fetal CRP levels in a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands. METHODS: Particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter <= 10 mu m (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels were estimated at the home address using dispersion modeling for different averaging periods preceding the blood sampling (1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and total pregnancy). High-sensitivity CRP levels were measured in maternal blood samples in early pregnancy (n = 5,067) and in fetal cord blood samples at birth (n = 4,450). RESULTS: Compared with the lowest quartile, higher PM10 exposure levels for the prior 1 and 2 weeks were associated with elevated maternal CRP levels (> 8 mg/L) in the first trimester [fourth PM10 quartile for the prior week: odds ratio (OR), 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.61; third PM10 quartile for the prior 2 weeks: OR, 1.28; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.56]; however, no clear dose-response relationships were observed. PM10 and NO2 exposure levels for 1, 2, and 4 weeks preceding delivery were CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may lead to maternal and fetal inflammatory responses.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-52-01-A
  • EMC MM-01-25-01
  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-01
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-02

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