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Does low to moderate environmental exposure to noise and air pollution influence preterm delivery in medium-sized cities ?

International Journal of Epidemiology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017, pp.on line.

Abstract : Background : Preterm birth (PB) is an important predictor of childhood morbidity and educational performance. Beyond the known risk factors, environmental factors, such as air pollution and noise, have been implicated in PB. In urban areas, these pollutants coexist. Very few studies have examined the effects of multi-exposure on the pregnancy duration. The objective of this study was to analyse the relationship between PB and environmental chronic multi-exposure to noise and air pollution in medium-sized cities. Methods : A case-control study was conducted among women living in the city of Besançon (121 671 inhabitants) or in the urban unit of Dijon (243 936 inhabitants) and who delivered in a university hospital between 2005 and 2009. Only singleton pregnancies without associated pathologies were considered. Four controls were matched to each case in terms of the mother’s age and delivery location. Residential noise and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposures were calculated at the mother’s address. Conditional logistic regression models were applied, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results : This study included 302 cases and 1204 controls. The correlation between noise and NO2 indices ranged from 0.41 to 0.59. No significant differences were found in pollutant exposure levels between cases and controls. The adjusted odds ratios ranged between 0.96 and 1.08. Sensitivity analysis conducted using different temporal and spatial exposure windows demonstrated the same results. Conclusions : The results are in favour of a lack of connection between preterm delivery and multi-exposure to noise and air pollution in medium-sized cities for pregnant women without underlying disease.

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