Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 289, Issue 2, pp 285–291 | Cite as

Does ambient air pollutants increase the risk of fetal loss? A case–control study

  • Hai Yan Hou
  • Dan Wang
  • Xiao Ping Zou
  • Zhen Hua Yang
  • Tin-Chiu Li
  • Ya Qiong ChenEmail author
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



To examine the associations between the ambient air pollution and early fetal loss.

Study design

A retrospective case–control study was conducted. 959 fetal losses and 959 normal intrauterine pregnancies within 14 weeks of pregnancy in 15 general or obstetrics and gynecology hospitals were selected into case and control groups, respectively. Data based on hospital records and national pollution monitor station records were collected. Logistic regression model was conducted to examine the associations between 4 ambient air pollutants (SO2, PM10, NO2 and TSP) exposures and fetal loss.


The ratio of fetal loss to termination of pregnancy for heating months (2.28 %) was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than that for the non-heating months (1.77 %). Logistic regression suggested that fetal loss within 14 weeks was associated with higher exposure to SO2 (OR = 19.76, 95 % CI 2.34–166.71) and TSP (OR = 2.04, 95 % CI 1.01–4.13) in the first month of pregnancy.


Exposure to high levels of SO2 and TSP during the first month of pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of fetal loss in early pregnancy.


Fetal loss Air pollution TSP SO2 



The study was supported by Tianjin Science Council (No. 07JCZDJC07400). The authors acknowledge the help from the 15 Hospitals of Tianjin. We especially thank Dr Jun Wu from the California University of USA and the researchers in the Epidemiology Division of the Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces for help of study design and data analysis.

Conflict of interest

Y.Q C is an advisor for the research and has nothing to disclose. H.Y.H has nothing to disclose. D.W has nothing to disclose. X.P.Z has nothing to disclose. Z.H.Y has nothing to disclose. T.C.L has nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai Yan Hou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dan Wang
    • 2
  • Xiao Ping Zou
    • 1
  • Zhen Hua Yang
    • 1
  • Tin-Chiu Li
    • 3
  • Ya Qiong Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsAffiliated Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces Logistics CollegeTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.South II DepartmentGeneral Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police ForcesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jessop WingSheffield Teaching HospitalsSheffieldUK

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