Maternal exposure to low-level air pollution and pregnancy outcomes: a population-based study. (1/1489)

BACKGROUND: Recent reports have shown that air pollution may increase the risk of adverse birth outcomes. We have evaluated the relationship between ambient air pollution and the occurrence of low birth weight and preterm delivery using routinely collected data in Lithuania. METHODS: This epidemiological study comprised all singleton newborns (N = 3,988), born to women in 1998, who resided in the City of Kaunas. Birth data and information on maternal characteristics were obtained from the Lithuanian National Birth Register. To estimate residential exposure levels, we used measurements of ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and formaldehyde, which were collected at 12 monitoring posts. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the effect that each pollutant would have on low birth weight (LBW) and premature birth while controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: Adjusted odds ratios (OR) for LBW increased with increasing formaldehyde exposure (OR2nd tertile = 1.86, 95% CI 1.10-3.16; OR3rd tertile = 1.84, 95% CI 1.12-3.03). Adjusted ORs of preterm birth for the medium and high NO2 tertile exposures were OR = 1.14 (95% CI 0.77-1.68) and OR = 1.68 (95% CI 1.15-2.46), respectively. The risk of preterm birth increased by 25% (adjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.07-1.46) per 10 microg/m3 increase in NO2 concentrations. An analysis by trimester showed that pregnancy outcomes were associated with first-trimester exposure to air pollutants. However, there were no significant relationships in other pregnancy periods between preterm birth and exposure to formaldehyde or between LBW and NO2 exposure. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that in the City of Kaunas there might be a relationship between maternal exposure to ambient formaldehyde and the risk of LBW, as well as between NO2 exposure and the risk of preterm birth.  (+info)

A candidate gene association study on preterm delivery: application of high-throughput genotyping technology and advanced statistical methods. (2/1489)

Preterm delivery (PTD) is the leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity worldwide. The etiology of PTD is largely unknown but is believed to be complex, encompassing multiple genetic and environmental determinants. To date, reports of genetic studies on PTD are sparse. We conducted a large-scale case-control study exploring the associations of 426 single-nucleotide polymorphisms with PTD in 300 mothers with PTD and 458 mothers with term deliveries at the Boston Medical Center. Twenty-five candidate genes were included in the final haplotype analysis, and a significant association of F5 gene haplotype with PTD was revealed and remained significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (P=0.025). We applied different statistical algorithms (both Gibbs sampling and expectation-maximization) in reconstructing haplotype phases and different tests (both likelihood ratio test and permutation test) in association analyses, and all yielded similar results. We also performed exploratory ethnicity-specific analyses, which confirmed the consistent findings of the F5 gene across the ethnic groups. Moreover, IL1R2 (P=0.002 in Blacks), NOS2A (P<0.001 in Whites) and OPRM1 (P=0.004 in Hispanics) gene haplotypes were associated with PTD in specific ethnic groups but not at global significance level. In summary, our results underscore the potentially important role of F5 gene variants in the pathogenesis of PTD, and demonstrate the utility of high-throughput genotyping and a haplotype-based approach in dissecting genetic basis of complex traits.  (+info)

Relation of cervical length at 22-24 weeks of gestation to demographic characteristics and obstetric history. (3/1489)

Preterm delivery is the main cause of neonatal death and ultrasonographic cervical assessment has been shown to be more accurate than digital examination in recognizing a short cervix. This is a cross-sectional study, involving 1131 women at 22-24 weeks of pregnancy, designed to determine the distribution of cervical length and to examine which variables of demographic characteristics and obstetric history increase the risk of a short cervix (15 mm or less). The distribution of maternal demographic and obstetric history characteristics among patients with cervical length pound 15 mm was analyzed and compared to the findings for the general population. Risk ratios (RR) between subgroups were generated from this comparison. Median cervical length was 37 mm and in 1.5% of cases it was 15 mm or less. The proportion of women with a short cervix (< or =15 mm) was significantly higher among patients with a low body mass index (RR = 3.5) and in those with previous fetal losses between 16-23 weeks (RR = 33.1) or spontaneous preterm deliveries between 24-32 weeks (RR = 14.1). We suggest that transvaginal sonographic measurement of cervical length be performed as part of a routine midtrimester ultrasound evaluation. There are specific variables of demographic characteristics and obstetric history which increase the risk of detecting a short cervix at 22-24 weeks.  (+info)

Nonnutritive swallowing and respiration relationships in preterm lambs. (4/1489)

The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the different states of alertness on 1) nonnutritive swallowing (NNS) frequency, 2) the relationship between NNS and the respiratory cycle, and 3) the association of NNS with spontaneous apneas. Recordings of sleep states, diaphragm and laryngeal constrictor electrical activity, nasal flow, electrocardiogram, respiratory inductance plethysmography, and pulse oximetry were obtained from six preterm lambs without sedation. Analysis of 2,468 NNS showed that 1) NNS frequency was higher during quiet wakefulness and active sleep (AS) than in quiet sleep; 2) in all states of alertness, a greater number of NNS (38%) were preceded and followed by an inspiration; 3) although NNS and central apneas were rarely coincidental, AS appeared to favor their association; and 4) most obstructive apneas occurred in AS and were coincidental with bursts of NNS. Compared with results in full-term lambs, premature birth does not modify the NNS-respiratory coordination. However, AS in preterm lambs is characterized by a higher association of NNS bursts with obstructive apneas.  (+info)

Oxygen-sensitive Kv channel gene transfer confers oxygen responsiveness to preterm rabbit and remodeled human ductus arteriosus: implications for infants with patent ductus arteriosus. (5/1489)

BACKGROUND: Oxygen (O2)-sensitive K+ channels mediate acute O2 sensing in many tissues. At birth, initial functional closure of the ductus arteriosus (DA) results from O2-induced vasoconstriction. This mechanism often fails in premature infants, resulting in persistent DA, a common form of congenital heart disease. We hypothesized that the basis for impaired O2 constriction in preterm DA is reduced expression and function of O2-sensitive, voltage-gated (Kv) channels. METHODS AND RESULTS: Preterm rabbit DA rings have reduced O2 constriction (even after inhibition of prostaglandin and nitric oxide synthases), and preterm DA smooth muscle cells (DASMCs) display reduced O2-sensitive K+ current. This is associated with decreased mRNA and protein expression of certain O2-sensitive Kv channels (Kv1.5 and Kv2.1) but equivalent expression of the L-type calcium channel. Transmural Kv1.5 or Kv2.1 gene transfer "rescues" the developmental deficiency, conferring O2 responsiveness to preterm rabbit DAs. Targeted SMC Kv1.5 gene transfer also enhances O2 constriction in human DAs. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate a central role for developmentally regulated DASMC O2-sensitive Kv channels in the functional closure of the DA. Modulation of Kv channels may have therapeutic potential in diseases associated with impaired O2 responsiveness, including persistent DA.  (+info)

Lung volumes and alveolar expansion pattern in immature rabbits treated with serum-diluted surfactant. (6/1489)

In acute respiratory distress syndrome, mechanical ventilation often induces alveolar overdistension aggravating the primary insult. To examine the mechanism of overdistension, surfactant-deficient immature rabbits were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium, and their lungs were treated with serum-diluted modified natural surfactant (porcine lung extract; 2 mg/ml, 10 ml/kg). By mechanical ventilation with a peak inspiration pressure of 22.5 cm H2O, the animals had a tidal volume of 14.7 ml/kg (mean), when 2.5 cm H2O positive end-expiratory pressure was added. This volume was similar to that in animals treated with nondiluted modified natural surfactant (24 mg/ml in Ringer solution, 10 ml/kg). However, the lungs fixed at 10 cm H2O on the deflation limbs of the pressure-volume curve had the largest alveolar/alveolar duct profiles (> or =48,000 microm2), accounting for 38% of the terminal air spaces, and the smallest (<6,000 microm2), accounting for 31%. These values were higher than those in animals treated with nondiluted modified natural surfactant (P <0.05). We conclude that administration of serum-diluted surfactant to immature neonatal lungs leads to patchy overdistension of terminal air spaces, similar to the expansion pattern that may be seen after dilution of endogenous surfactant with proteinaceous edema fluid in acute respiratory distress syndrome.  (+info)

Jail incarceration and birth outcomes. (7/1489)

This study examined the relationships between jail incarceration during pregnancy and infant birth weight, preterm birth, and fetal growth restriction. We used multivariate regression analyses to compare outcomes for 496 births to women who were in jail for part of pregnancy with 4,960 Medicaid-funded births as matched community controls. After adjusting for potential confounding variables, the relationship between jail incarceration and birth outcomes was modified by maternal age. Relative to controls, women incarcerated during pregnancy had progressively higher odds of low birth weight and preterm birth through age 39 years; conversely, jail detainees older than 39 years were less likely than controls to experience low birth weight or preterm birth. For women in jail at all ages, postrelease maternity case management was associated with decreased odds of low birth weight, whereas prenatal care was associated with decreased odds of preterm birth. Local jails are important sites for public health intervention. Efforts to ensure that all pregnant women released from jail have access to enhanced prenatal health services may improve perinatal outcomes for this group of particularly vulnerable women and infants.  (+info)

Paternal occupational exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and birth outcomes of offspring: birth weight, preterm delivery, and birth defects. (8/1489)

Agent Orange is a phenoxy herbicide that was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). We studied pregnancy outcomes among wives of male chemical workers who were highly exposed to chemicals contaminated with TCDD and among wives of nonexposed neighborhood referents. For exposed pregnancies, we estimated serum TCDD concentration at the time of conception using a pharmacokinetic model. The mean TCDD concentration for workers' births was 254 pg/g lipid (range, 3-16,340 pg/g). The mean referent concentration of 6 pg/g was assigned to pregnancies fathered by workers before exposure. A total of 1,117 live singleton births of 217 referent wives and 176 worker wives were included. Only full-term births were included in the birth weight analysis (greater than or equal to 37 weeks of gestation). Mean birth weight among full-term babies was similar among referents' babies (n = 604), preexposure workers' babies (n = 221), and exposed workers' babies (n = 292) (3,420, 3,347, and 3,442 g, respectively). Neither continuous nor categorical TCDD concentration had an effect on birth weight for term infants after adjustment for infant sex, mother's education, parity, prenatal cigarette smoking, and gestation length. An analysis to estimate potential direct exposure of the wives during periods of workers' exposure yielded a nonstatistically significant increase in infant birth weight of 130 g in the highest exposure group (TCDD concentration > 254 pg/g) compared with referents (p = 0.09). Mothers' reports of preterm delivery showed a somewhat protective association with paternal TCDD (log) concentration (odds ratio = 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-1.1). We also include descriptive information on reported birth defects. Because the estimated TCDD concentrations in this population were much higher than in other studies, the results indicate that TCDD is unlikely to increase the risk of low birth weight or preterm delivery through a paternal mechanism. Key words: birth defects, birth weight, congenital anomalies, dioxin, occupation, paternal exposure, preterm birth, TCDD.  (+info)