Objective To study the relationship between acute air pollution exposure and cardiovascular events during labour/delivery.
Methods The Consortium on Safe Labor (2002–2008), an observational US cohort with 223 502 singleton deliveries provided electronic medical records. Air pollution exposure was estimated by modified Community Multiscale Air Quality models. Cardiovascular events (cardiac failure/arrest, stroke, myocardial infarcts and other events) were recorded in the hospital discharge records for 687 pregnancies (0.3%). Logistic regression with generalised estimating equations estimated the relationship between cardiovascular events and daily air pollutant levels for delivery day and the 7 days preceding delivery.
Results Increased odds of cardiovascular events were observed for each IQR increase in exposure to nitric oxides at 5 and 6 days prior to delivery (OR=1.17, 99% CI 1.04 to 1.30 and OR=1.15, 1.03 to 1.28, respectively). High exposure to toxic air pollution species such as ethylbenzene (OR=1.50, 1.08 to 2.09), m-xylene (OR=1.54, 1.11 to 2.13), o-xylene (OR=1.51, 1.09 to 2.09), p-xylene (OR=1.43, 1.03 to 1.99) and toluene (OR=1.42, 1.02 to 1.97) at 5 days prior to delivery were also associated with cardiovascular events. Decreased odds of events were observed with exposure to ozone.
Conclusions Air pollution in the days prior to delivery, especially nitrogen oxides and some toxic air pollution species, was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events during the labour/delivery admission.
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