2012 Progress Report: Effect of Multi-Level Environmental Exposure on Birth Outcomes

EPA Grant Number: R834596C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834596
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environment Health Center
Center Director: Tager, Ira
Title: Effect of Multi-Level Environmental Exposure on Birth Outcomes
Investigators: Tager, Ira , Gale, Sara L , Hammond, S. Katharine , Padula, Amy , Shaw, Gary M.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health , Stanford University
Current Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Stanford University
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: May 7, 2010 through May 6, 2013 (Extended to May 6, 2014)
Project Period Covered by this Report: May 7, 2012 through May 6,2013
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers: Formative Centers (with NIEHS) (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health

Objective:

To determine if the associations between adverse pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight, pre-term, and small for gestation age) and exposure to ambient air pollutants and endotoxin are increased in women who reside in impoverished neighborhoods and are socially disadvantaged at the individual level.

Elevated air pollution levels and higher traffic density have been implicated as having adverse effects on the health of children and adults. Outcomes include reduced birth weight and gestational duration, decreased pulmonary function, and coronary heart disease. Many of the outcomes are more common within communities with lower socioeconomic status (SES) and more ethnic diversity; these are the same communities that tend to have higher air pollution and traffic-density, at least in the United States. It may be a case of environmental justice with important health consequences and may invoke policy change to address such potential injustice.

Progress Summary:

In this project we are using data from the Study of Air Pollution, Genetics and the Environment, which include birth certificates in the four most populous counties of the San Joaquin Valley of California from 2000-2006. Ambient air pollution measurements and traffic metrics were assigned to the geocoded maternal residences. The exposures included: ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter < 10 μg/m(PM10), and PM < 2.5 μg/m3 (PM2.5) and traffic density. In addition, we have used land use regression to assign PAH (rings 4,5,6) estimates for the entire pregnancy (and the last 6 weeks) of each of the maternal residences with 20 km of Fresno’s central site monitor for births between 2000-2006. These exposure metrics are currently being analyzed by to identify the relationship between PAH exposure during pregnancy and preterm birth.

We have found associations between air pollution and adverse birth outcomes. We used targeted maximum likelihood estimation to examine the relationship between traffic and term low birth weight. We found that if everyone lived near high volume freeways (estimated by 4th quartile of traffic density), the estimated probability of term low birth weight would be 2.27% (95% confidence interval: 2.16, 2.38) compared to 2.02% (95% confidence interval: 1.90, 2.12) had everyone lived near smaller local roads (1st quartile of traffic density). This publication was recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Most recently, we have drafted a manuscript on traffic-related air pollution and 4 levels of prematurity based on gestational age at birth (20-27 weeks, 28-31 weeks, 32-33 weeks and 34-26 weeks) versus term (37-42 weeks). There were increased odds of prematurity at 20-27 weeks gestation for those exposed to the highest quartile of each pollutant during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.5. The associations were substantially stronger in those with low neighborhood socioeconomic status with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.8 to 3.7. Exposure to particulate matter, particularly during mid to late pregnancy was associated with all gestational definitions of prematurity with the strongest associations for the earliest premature births. These results confirm previous studies that have found associations between traffic-related air pollution and prematurity. This study adds that the association is driven by very early preterm births and low SES.

To further explore our findings of neighborhood SES as a modifier in the relationship between air pollution and prematurity, we intend to build a more robust indicator of neighborhood deprivation. We have constructed the ½ mile neighborhood surrounding each of the maternal residences for births between 2000-2006 in Fresno county (N = 90,196). These neighborhoods include the GIS data that was previously collected (road network and traffic, alcohol and cigarette sales, wildfires, Superfund sites, grocery stores and farmers markets, schools and daycares, hospitals, water quality, crime). To understand the complex neighborhood environment, we used item response theory to help characterize the variables that make up a deprived neighborhood. The item parameters are all of the covariates, which we converted to be positive and negative (0 = negative neighborhood influence, 1 = positive neighborhood influence). We used the FACES cohort (N = 315) to pilot the program of the IRT analysis. The next step is to examine neighborhood deprivation as an effect modifier in the relationship between traffic-related air pollution and adverse birth outcomes in the CHAPS study population.

Significance: Elevated air pollution levels and higher traffic density have been implicated as having adverse effects on the health of children and adults. Outcomes include reduced birth weight and gestational duration, decreased pulmonary function and coronary heart disease. Many of the outcomes are more common within communities with lower socioeconomic status (SES) and more ethnic diversity; these are the same communities that tend to have higher air pollution and traffic-density, at least in the United States. It may be a case of environmental justice with important health consequences and may invoke policy change to address such potential injustice.


Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 14 publications 2 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Other center views: All 50 publications 15 publications in selected types All 15 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Padula AM, Mortimer K, Hubbard A, Lurmann F, Jerrett M, Tager IB. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and term low birth weight: estimation of causal associations in a semiparametric model. American Journal of Epidemiology 2012;176(9):815-824. R834596 (2010)
R834596 (2011)
R834596 (2012)
R834596 (Final)
R834596C001 (2011)
R834596C001 (2012)
R834596C001 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: Oxford Journals-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: Oxford Journals-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: Oxford Journals-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Padula AM, Mortimer KM, Tager IB, Hammond SK, Lurmann FW, Yang W, Stevenson DK, Shaw GM. Traffic-related air pollution and risk of preterm birth in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Annals of Epidemiology 2014;24(12):888-895e4. R834596 (2012)
    R834596 (Final)
    R834596C001 (2012)
    R834596C001 (Final)
    RD835435 (2015)
    RD835435 (2016)
    RD835435 (2018)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: ScienceDIrect-Full Text-HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text-PDF
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air pollution, low birthweight, preterm births, neighborhood effects, cumulative impact;, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, HUMAN HEALTH, Biochemistry, Health Effects, Children's Health, Biology, Risk Assessment, asthma, air toxics, prenatal exposure, measuring childhood exposure, biological response, air pollution, children's vulnerablity, assessment of exposure, childhood respiratory disease, harmful environmental agents, developmental disorders

    Relevant Websites:

    CHAPS - SJV Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R834596    UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environment Health Center

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R834596C001 Effect of Multi-Level Environmental Exposure on Birth Outcomes
    R834596C002 Exposure to Air Pollutants and Risk of Birth Defects
    R834596C003 Ambient Pollutant/Bioaerosol Effects on Treg Function