Women who live within 200 meters of a highway are at increased risk of having a premature baby or a low birth weight infant, concludes a Canadian study that examined 100 000 births in Montreal between 1997 and 2001.
The researchers at Quebec's Institute of Public Health found that women living close to highways "were 15 to 20 percent more likely to deliver prematurely or have a low birth weight baby compared to mothers living away from the highway. They (the babies) are a little bit more sickly, have more infections," lead author Dr Melissa Genereux told CBC News.
The study will be published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that living near major highways may be linked to a number of health risks, including cancer and respiratory illness, Louis Drouin, a physician in charge of urban environment issues in Montreal's public health department, told CBC News. – (HealthDayNews)
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