Increased Risks of Term Low-Birth-Weight Infants in a Petrochemical Industrial City with High Air Pollution Levels

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ABSTRACT.This study investigated the influence of petrochemical air pollution on birth weight. Birth data on 92,288 singleton infants with gestational periods of 37-44 wk born in a petrochemical industrial city (Kaohsiung, n = 31,530) with severe pollution or a non-petrochemical industrial city (Taipei, n = 60,758) in Taiwan between 1995 and 1997 were included in this analysis. Air pollutant concentration derived from routinely monitored data showed significantly higher concentrations of SO2, O3, and PM10 in Kaohsiung. Infants with low birth weight (LBW) were significantly more prevalent in Kaohsiung (2.4%) than in Taipei (2.1%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis with adjustment for gestation age, gender, birth order, season of birth, maternal age, and maternal education further suggested that LBW risk in Kaohsiung was 13% higher than that in Taipei (odds ratio [OR] = 1.13, 95%, confidence interval [CI] = 1.03-1.24).

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