The association between ambient modelled air pollution and birth outcomes in Scotland

Clemens, T. & Dibben, C. (2013) SHIP conference: Exploiting Existing Data for Health Research, University of St Andrews, UK, 28 - 30 August 2013 [SLS]

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A growing number of studies have reported a relationship between ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes. In this paper we examine the association between fetal development, prematurity and ambient background concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulates up to 10μm in diameter (PM10) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at the mother’s area of residence and place of work. We linked data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study (5% sample of the Scottish census in 1991 linked to 2001 census records) to maternity data from the Scottish morbidity record to identify a sample of singleton live births across Scotland. Modelled pollution data at a 1x1 km spatial resolution was obtained for the years 1994 to 2008 and linked to the census and birth records via the mothers residential and workplace postcode using a geographical information system. The association between pollution and mean birthweight, low birthweight < 2500g, small for gestational age, and prematurity was estimated adjusting for known confounders including ethnicity and smoking. The findings from the study will be presented and discussed together with a number of methodological matters arising from the study.

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