Objective: In this retrospective cohort (1998 to 2007), 145,445 singleton live births in Hillsborough, Florida, were analyzed to elucidate the relationship between fetal morbidity and prenatal exposure to six criteria air pollutants.
Methods: This study was based on three linked databases: Florida Hospital Discharge, vital statistics records, and air pollution meteorological data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The primary outcomes of interest were low birth weight, preterm births, and small for gestational age. This study used structural equation modeling and trimester groupings to evaluate the relationship between air pollution and birth outcomes of pregnant residents.
Results: The latent variables of structural equation modeling yielded a significant B value of 0.35, indicating that exposure to the criteria pollutants in pregnancy may have a significant relationship to fetal morbidity.
Conclusion: Exposure to criteria air pollutants in pregnancy is associated with fetal morbidity outcomes.