Air Pollution and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Response

By Liu, Shiliang; Krewski, Daniel et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2004 | Go to article overview

Air Pollution and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Response


Liu, Shiliang, Krewski, Daniel, Shi, Yuanli, Chen, Yue, Burnett, Richard T., Environmental Health Perspectives


We thank Bukowski for his critical comments on our article (Liu et al. 2003), in which we reported associations between ambient air pollution and adverse pregnancy outcomes in Vancouver, Canada. In recent years, air pollution has come to be recognized as an important risk factor for a number of adverse health outcomes, particularly cardiorespiratory morbidity (Burnett et al. 1997, 2001; Lin et al. 2002, 2003; Yang et al. 2003) and mortality (Burnett et al. 1997; Dockery et al. 1993; Pope et al. 1995; Villeneuve et al. 2003).

The adverse effects of air pollution on pregnancy outcomes, such as low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and developmental anomalies are of increasing concern. Before our study, there were reports of associations between particulate (total suspended particulate) and gaseous (carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide) air pollutants and adverse pregnancy outcomes from southern California (Ritz et al. 2000, 2002), China (Wang et al. 1997; Xu et al. 1995), and the Czech Republic (Bobak 2000; Dejmek et al. 1999). Replication of these findings in different populations under different conditions of exposure is an important aspect of epidemiologic research, with consistency of results strengthening the weight of evidence for a true association between exposure and outcome.

Data on important predictors of adverse pregnancy outcomes were not available to us for use in our study (Liu et al. 2003). Although numerous risk factors have been identified (including maternal age, parity, infant sex, and season of birth, as well as gestational age and birth weight, in the case of LBW and preterm birth, respectively, which we were able to take into account), our understanding of the etiology of adverse pregnancy outcomes remains far from sufficient (Kramer 2003). The omission of known or unknown risk factors for birth anomalies may lead to uncontrolled or residual confounding of the association between air pollution and adverse pregnancy outcomes, as Bukowski suggests. However, the extent to which residual confounding might occur in our data is unclear. Schwartz and Morris (1995) have argued that the estimated effects of air pollution are unlikely to be confounded by these factors because they are unlikely to be correlated with daily air pollution levels.

Exposure assessment is always a critical factor in environmental epidemiology (Rothman 1993). Like most other studies of air pollution and population health, our study (Liu et al. 2003) relied on ecologic rather than personal indicators of exposure, with average ambient air pollution concentrations determined using one or more fixed site monitors within census areas in Vancouver. Janssen et al. (1998, 1999) have suggested that air pollution levels from outdoor monitoring stations can provide useful surrogates for personal exposure. Exposure misclassification due to the use of fixed site ambient monitors rather than personal dosimeters is likely to underestimate rather than overestimate the effect of air pollution on birth outcomes (Mallick et al. 2002; Zeger et al. 2000).

The weight of evidence that air pollution is causally related to adverse pregnancy outcomes would be considerably increased through understanding of biological mechanisms by which such effects could occur.

Burkowski notes that we (Liu et al. 2003) included a number of statistical tests of the strength of association between air pollution and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and observes that multiple testing raises the risk of false positives. Our a priori strategy for hypothesis testing focused on predetermined stages of pregnancy (month or trimester), which are thought to represent periods of differential susceptibility to exogenous exposures. Findings from both epidemiologic and toxicologic studies suggest that the fetus is most susceptible to the effects of air pollution during the first trimester (Generoso et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Air Pollution and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Response
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.