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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): P. Jiang; Y. Li; M. K. Tong; S. Ha; E. Gaw; J. Nie; P. Mendola; M. Wang
Publication Date: 2024

Objectives: Wildfire air pollution is a growing concern on human health. The study aims to assess the associations between wildfire air pollution and pregnancy outcomes in the Southwestern United States.

Study design: This was a retrospective cohort study.

Methods: Birth records of 627,404 singleton deliveries in 2018 were obtained in eight states of the Southwestern United States and were linked to wildfire-sourced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and their constituents (black carbon [BC] and organic carbon [OC]) during the entire gestational period. A double-robust logistic regression model was used to assess the associations of wildfire-sourced PM2.5 exposures and preterm birth and term low birth weight, adjusting for non-fire-sourced PM2.5 exposure and individual- and area-level confounder variables.

Results: Wildfire-sourced PM2.5 contributed on average 15% of the ambient total PM2.5 concentrations. For preterm birth, the strongest association was observed in the second trimester (odds ratio [OR]: 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05–1.07 for PM2.5; 1.06, 95% CI: 1.05–1.07 for BC; 1.04, 95% CI: 1.03–1.05 for OC, per interquartile range increment of exposure), with higher risks identified among non-smokers or those with low socio-economic status. For term low birth weight, the associations with wildfire-sourced PM2.5 exposures were consistently elevated for all trimesters except for the exposure averaged over the entire gestational period. Overall, the associations between wildfire-sourced PM2.5 and pregnancy outcomes were stronger than those with total PM2.5.

Conclusions: Wildfire-sourced PM2.5 and its constituents are linked to higher risks of preterm birth and term low birth weight among a significant US population than the effects of ambient total PM2.5.

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Cataloging Information

  • air pollution
  • black carbon
  • fine particulate matter
  • organic carbon
  • PM2.5
  • pregnancy outcomes
  • public health
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 69177