Effects of Residential Indoor Air Quality and Household Ventilation on Preterm Birth and Term Low Birth Weight in Los Angeles County, California

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The purpose of our study was to examine the effects of indoor residential air quality on preterm birth and term low birth weight (LBW).


We evaluated 1761 nonsmoking women from a case-control survey of mothers who delivered a baby in 2003 in Los Angeles County, California. In multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for maternal age, education, race/ethnicity, parity and birthplace, we evaluated the effects of living with smokers or using personal or household products that may contain volatile organic compounds and examined the influence of household ventilation.


Compared with unexposed mothers, women exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) at home had increased odds of term LBW (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] =  0.85, 2.18) and preterm birth (adjusted OR = 1.27; 95% CI = 0.95, 1.70), although 95% CIs included the null. No increase in risk was observed for SHS-exposed mothers reporting moderate or high window ventilation. Associations were also observed for product usage, but only for women reporting low or no window ventilation.


Residential window ventilation may mitigate the effects of indoor air pollution among pregnant women in Los Angeles County, California.

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