Title : The influence of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide on blood pressure change in pregnant women and birth outcomes in fetuses
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influences of outdoor air pollutants in the northern Taiwan area on blood pressure changes in pregnant women and their fetal birth outcomes. This study recruited the pregnant women aged 20 or above who live in northern Taiwan, including 54 healthy pregnant women and 15 women with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Data of personal characteristics, prenatal examination, and fetal birth outcomes of recruited subjects and outdoor air pollutants concentrations are obtained in this study. This study showed that the age of pregnant women with PIH (38.15 years old) was significantly higher than healthy pregnant women (33.86 years old). We also observed that both gestational week (pregnant women with PIH: 37.03 weeks, healthy pregnant women: 38.82 weeks, P < 0.001) and fetal birth weight (pregnant women with PIH: 2689.33 gm, healthy pregnant women: 3035.09 gm, P = 0.002) were significantly different between the women with PIH and healthy pregnant women. No difference in fetal length was found between the two groups. Additionally, except that PM2.5 exposure of healthy pregnant women in the third trimester was slightly higher than the air quality standard of the Environmental Protection Administration in Taiwan, other air pollutants were all in line with the standard. Exposure to PM10 in the first trimester was positively associated with diastolic pressure (rs=0.9, P=0.037) and mean artery pressure (rs=0.9, P=0.037) in women with PIH. The exposure of PM10 and PM2.5 were not associated with fetal birth outcomes after adjusting for the group of pregnant women. However, every 0.1 ppb increment of SO2 exposure in the second trimester of pregnant women was related to the reduction of birth weight (-30.05 grams), chest (-0.15 cm) and abdominal circumferences (-0.14 cm). The preliminary conclusion of this study was that exposure to PM affects blood pressure changes in pregnant women with PIH, while SO2 exposure was negatively associated with fetal birth weight, chest and abdominal circumferences.