Air pollutants may increase stillbirth risk during pregnancy

According to the researchers, nearly 2.6 million children worldwide were stillborn at 28 weeks or more in 2015, with the wide geographical variation in prevalence suggesting that most of these deaths were preventable.

Last Updated: May 28, 2016, 16:52 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: This goes out for all the would-be mothers as a alarm signal that prenatal exposure to harmful air pollutants can likely increase the risk of stillbirth during the pregnancy's third trimester.

According to the researchers, nearly 2.6 million children worldwide were stillborn at 28 weeks or more in 2015, with the wide geographical variation in prevalence suggesting that most of these deaths were preventable.

"Stillbirth is one of the most neglected tragedies in global health today," said Marie Pedersen from University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The findings showed that specifically, a 4 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3) increase in exposure to small particulate matter of less than 2.5 in diameter (PM2.5) was associated with a 2 percent increased risk of stillbirth.

Further, particles less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10), carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone also showed to increase stillbirth risks.

"The existing evidence is suggestive of causality for air pollution and stillbirth without precise identification of the timing of exposure," Pedersen added.

(With IANS inputs)