Study links 2.7–3.4 million preterm births to air pollution

By NL Team

Published on :

Researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have found that exposure to Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 may lead to preterm or premature birth.

The study titled, “Preterm birth associated with maternal fine particulate matter exposure: A global, regional and national assessment” published in Science Direct   

also found that of the 2.7–3.4 million premature births linked to PM2.5 globally, the most were reported from South/East Asia, North Africa/Middle East and West sub-Saharan Africa.

A premature birth is when a baby is born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation.

“Maternal fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure has been identified as a possible risk factor contributing to preterm (premature) birth,” the study found.

India has the largest number of premature births in the world according to a November 2016 World Health Organization report.

The number of premature births in India, 3 519 100, is followed by China where 1 172 300 premature births are registered annually.