DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adh4363 ISSN: 2375-2548

Estimating birthweight reduction attributable to maternal ozone exposure in low- and middle-income countries

Mingkun Tong, Huiyu Xu, Ruohan Wang, Hengyi Liu, Jiajianghui Li, Pengfei Li, Xinghua Qiu, Jicheng Gong, Jing Shang, Tong Zhu, Tao Xue
  • Multidisciplinary

The effect of O 3 on birthweight in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remains unknown. A multicenter epidemiological study was conducted to evaluate the association between maternal peak-season O 3 exposure and birthweight, using 697,148 singleton newborns obtained in 54 LMICs between 2003 and 2019. We estimated the birthweight reduction attributable to peak-season O 3 exposure in 123 LMICs based on a nonlinear exposure-response function (ERF). With every 10–part per billion increment in O 3 concentration, we found a reduction in birthweight of 19.9 g [95% confidence interval (CI): 14.8 to 24.9 g]. The nonlinear ERF had a monotonic decreasing curve, and no safe O 3 exposure threshold was identified. The mean reduction in birthweight reduction attributable to O 3 across the 123 LMICs was 43.8 g (95% CI: 30.5 to 54.3 g) in 2019. The reduction in O 3 -related birthweight was greatest in countries in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Effective O 3 pollution control policies have the potential to substantially improve infant health.

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