London: Pregnant women who live near busy roads have a higher risk of delivering a premature baby compared to those residing in quieter areas, a study has pointed out.
Study author Takashi Yorifuji from Japan`s Okayama Graduate School of Medicine said air and noise pollution from the traffic could be blamed.
The Okayama team studied more than 14,000 babies born between 1997 and 2008 in Shizuoka, about 94 miles west of Tokyo, reports the journal Epidemiology.
They obtained detailed records on each pregnancy and how close to major roads the mothers lived, according to the Daily Mail.
They found 15 percent of women living within 650 ft of a major road gave birth before 37 weeks, compared to 10 percent of those living further away. A normal pregnancy is of 40 weeks.
Other factors like age, job, and smoking have been associated with pre-term birth as well. But even after accounting for those, the research team found a 50 percent increase in pre-term births among women living next to highly trafficked thoroughfares.
These women also had a higher risk of delivering before 32 and 28 weeks.