Residential mobility during pregnancy in Urban Gansu, China

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Abstract

Background:

Studies on environmental exposures during pregnancy commonly use maternal residence at time of delivery, which may result in exposure misclassification and biased estimates of exposure and disease association. Studies on residential mobility during pregnancy are needed in various populations to aid studies of the environmental exposure and birth outcomes. However, there is still a lack of studies investigating residential mobility patterns in Asian populations.

Methods:

We analyzed data from 10,542 pregnant women enrolled in a birth cohort study in Lanzhou, China (2010–2012), a major industrial city. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate residential mobility patterns in relation to maternal complications and birth outcomes.

Results:

Of the participants, 546 (5.2%) moved during pregnancy; among those who moved, 40.5%, 34.8%, and 24.7% moved during the first, second, and third trimester, respectively. Most movers (97.3%) moved once with a mean distance of 3.75km (range: 1–109km). More than half (66.1%) of the movers moved within 3km, 13.9% moved 3–10km, and 20.0% moved >10km. Pregnant women who were >30 years or multiparous, or who had maternal complications were less likely to have moved during pregnancy. In addition, movers were less likely to deliver infants with birth defects, preterm births, and low birth weight.

Conclusions:

Residential mobility was significantly associated with several maternal characteristics and complications during pregnancy. The study also showed a lower likelihood of adverse birth outcomes among movers than non-movers, suggesting that moving might be related to reduce exposure to environmental hazards. These results confirm the hypothesis that residential mobility may be important with respect to exposure misclassification and that this misclassification may vary by subpopulations.

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