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Traffic-related air pollution and birth weight: the roles of noise, placental function, green space, physical activity, and socioeconomic status (FRONTIER)

Principal Investigators: 
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ISGlobal, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain

,

ISGlobal, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain

In this study, the investigators will recruit pregnant women in Barcelona and assess the effects of in-utero exposure to traffic-related pollution on birth weight, fetal growth trajectories, and placental function for each pregnancy. The investigators will estimate exposure to several pollutants and transportation noise and evaluate the roles of socioeconomic status, green space, physical activity, diet, and stress.

Funded under
Status: 
Ongoing
Abstract

Study abstract 2022

Traffic-related air pollution and birth weight: the roles of noise, placental function, green space, physical activity, and socioeconomic status (FRONTIER)

Payam Dadvand1 & Jordi Sunyer1, Maria Dolores Gómez-Roig2, Elisa Llurba3, Maria Foraster1, Mar Alvarez1, Gustavo Arévalo4, Mariona Bustamante1, Xavier Basagaña1, Mireia Gascon1, Michael Jerrett5, Jose Lao4, Edurne Mazarico Gallego2, Teresa Moreno6, Tim Nawrot7, Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen1, Xavier Querol6, Ioar Rivas1, Joel Schwartz7, Cathryn Tonne1

1ISGlobal, Spain; 2BCNatal, University of Barcelona, Spain; 3Sant Pau University Hospital, UAB, Spain, 4Barcelona Regional, Spain; 5Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; 6IDAEA-CSIC, Spain; 6Hasselt University, Belgium; 7Harvard School of Public Health, USA

Background. FRONTIER aims to provide a robust and comprehensive evaluation of the impact of maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution on fetal growth. Towards this aim, it will (i) disentangle the effects of noise; (ii) identify the relevant window(s) of exposure; (iii) evaluate its modification by socioeconomic status, stress, and physical activity; (iv) elucidate the role of placental function as an underlying mechanism; and (v) explore the potential of green spaces to mitigate it.

Methods. FRONTIER has established a new pregnancy cohort of 1,086 pregnant women in Barcelona (BiSC), Spain, with the last birth occurring in Oct. 2021. Fetal growth was characterized by anthropometric measures at birth together with ultrasound-based trajectories of fetal development. We will develop and validate an innovative exposure assessment framework integrating objective data on time-activity patterns with a hybrid modeling framework combining dispersion and land use regression models and campaigns of personal and home-outdoor air pollution monitoring to estimate maternal exposure level as well as inhaled dose of NO2, PM2.5, PM2.5 light absorption, and PM2.5 Cu, Fe, and Zn contents (markers of non-tailpipe emissions) at the main microenvironments for pregnant women (home, workplace, and commuting routes). We will assess maternal exposure to noise by integrating measurements at participants’ home-outdoor using noise monitors together with modeled microenvironmental levels of noise and data on noise sensitivity, annoyance, and protections against noise. We will develop single- and multi-pollutant models to evaluate the impact of air pollution exposure and inhaled dose on fetal growth and the mediatory role of placental function.

Results & Conclusions. BiSC mothers had an average age of 34.8 years with 31.1% having high school education and less and 73.6% having European origin. The mean (SD) of the first and third trimester measured personal NO2 levels were respectively 31.9(11.7) and 31.0(12.1)μg/m3 for the pre-pandemic period and 26.6(10.9) and 25.1(12.1)μg/m3 for the pandemic period. The mean (SD) of the first and third trimester measured personal PM2.5 levels (pre-pandemic) were 20.9(15.7) and 18.1(12.2)μg/m3, respectively. For the noise, the mean (SD) of measured home-outdoor levels (LAeq,24h) was 61.5 (6.7)dB(A). 49.2% of newborns were girl and the mean (SD) of birthweight and gestational age at delivery were respectively 3276.8(508.2)gr and 39.5(1.7)weeks, with 5.5% of newborns being low birth weight. The data curation and development of air pollution models are ongoing and the data analysis will be started in mid-2022.