University of Oulu

Balogun, H.A.; Rantala, A.K.; Antikainen, H.; Siddika, N.; Amegah, A.K.; Ryti, N.R.I.; Kukkonen, J.; Sofiev, M.; Jaakkola, M.S.; Jaakkola, J.J.K. Effects of Air Pollution on the Risk of Low Birth Weight in a Cold Climate. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 6399.

Effects of air pollution on the risk of low birth weight in a cold climate

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Author: Balogun, Hamudat A.1,2,3; Rantala, Aino K.1,2,3; Antikainen, Harri4;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
4Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5Public Health Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
6Finnish Meteorological Institute, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-16


There is accumulating evidence that prenatal exposure to air pollution disturbs fetal growth and development, but little is known about these effects in cold climates or their season-specific or joint effects. Our objective was to assess independent and joint effects of prenatal exposure to specific air pollutants on the risk of low birth weight (LBW). We utilized the 2568 children of the Espoo Cohort Study, born between 1984 and 1990 and living in the City of Espoo. We conducted stratified analyses for births during warm and cold seasons separately. We analyzed the effect estimates using multi-pollutant Poisson regression models with risk ratio (RR) as the measure of effect. The risk of LBW was related to exposure to CO (adjusted RR 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–2.00) and exposure to O₃ in the spring–summer season (1.82, 1.11–2.96). There was also evidence of synergistic effects between CO and O₃ (relative risk due to interaction (RERI), all year 1.08, 95% CI: 0.27–4.94, spring–summer 3.97, 2.17–25.85) and between PM2.5 and O₃ (all year 0.72, −0.07–3.60, spring–summer 2.80, 1.36–19.88). We present new evidence of both independent and joint effects of prenatal exposure to low levels of air pollution in a cold climate on the risk of LBW.

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Series: Applied sciences
ISSN: 2076-3417
ISSN-E: 2076-3417
ISSN-L: 2076-3417
Volume: 10
Issue: 18
Article number: 6399
DOI: 10.3390/app10186399
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant numbers 266314, 267675, 267995 (APTA Consortium), 310372, and 313073 (GLORIA Consortium)) and by The Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases. N.S. received PhD scholarships from the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme (HBS-DP), University of Oulu and the University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 266314
Detailed Information: 266314 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
267995 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
310372 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (