Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 22, pp 17976–17984 | Cite as

Different exposure levels of fine particulate matter and preterm birth: a meta-analysis based on cohort studies

  • Chenchen Liu
  • Jiantao Sun
  • Yuewei Liu
  • Hui Liang
  • Minsheng Wang
  • Chunhong WangEmail author
  • Tingming ShiEmail author
Review Article


The previous studies estimated the association between PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm) exposure during pregnancy and preterm birth, only considered and highlighted the hazard effects of high levels of air pollutant exposure, and underestimated that low levels of pollutant exposure might also affect pregnancy outcome. We conducted a meta-analysis of 11 cohort studies, a total of more than 1,500,000 subjects. The results of these studies were pooled by exposure levels and study periods. PM2.5 exposure during pregnancy was positively associated with preterm birth (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.07–1.23), and during the first trimester of pregnancy, low levels of PM2.5 exposure were also positively associated with preterm birth (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.04–1.30). It is important to protect pregnant women from PM2.5 exposures, especially during their first trimester of pregnancy even when the ambient PM2.5 concentration is relatively low. More relevant health policy should be carried out to prevent hazard effect of air pollutants.


Exposure levels Fine particulate matter Preterm birth Cohort study Meta-analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards


The study was funded by the Hubei Province Health and Family Planning Scientific Research Project (WJ2015MA027) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 91543207).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionWuhanChina
  3. 3.Medical Research Center for Structural Biology, School of Basic Medical SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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