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01 August 2008

Busy highways bad for babies

Living near a highway increases a woman's risk of having a low birth-weight baby, according to a study of almost 100 000 live births in Montreal between 1997 and 2001.

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Living near a highway increases a woman's risk of having a low birth-weight baby, according to a study of almost 100 000 live births in Montreal between 1997 and 2001.

Women who lived within 200 m of a highway had a 14 percent greater risk of pre-term birth and were 17 percent more likely to have a low birth-weight baby than women who didn't live close to a highway, CBC News reported.

Affluent women appeared more at risk, found authors of the study, which appears in an issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"Among affluent mothers who live within 200 m of a highway, the odds of delivering an infant with low birth weight increase by 81 percent, while their odds of delivering a pre-term baby increase by 58 percent compared to mothers who don't live anywhere close to expressways," study author Dr Melissa Genereux said in a news release cited by CBC News.

"Advantaged mothers may be more susceptible to environmental hazards because they have been protected from other hazards," the study authors wrote. "These mothers may be particularly susceptible to exposure to air pollution during pregnancy, which is hypothesized to interfere directly with intrauterine growth via pollutant absorption and placental exchange, or indirectly by increasing maternal susceptibility to infection or impairing maternal respiratory function." – (HealthDay News)

Read more:
Highway triggers prem birth

August 2008

 
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