Acute effects of air pollutants on spontaneous pregnancy loss: a case-crossover study

Claire L. Leiser, Heidi A. Hanson, Kara Sawyer, Jacob Steenblik, Ragheed Al-Dulaimi, Troy Madsen, Karen Gibbins, James M. Hotaling, Yetunde Oluseye Ibrahim, James A. VanDerslice, Matthew Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the relationship between acute exposure to air pollutants and spontaneous pregnancy loss. Design: Case-crossover study from 2007 to 2015. Setting: An academic emergency department in the Wasatch Front area of Utah. Patient(s): A total of 1,398 women who experienced spontaneous pregnancy loss events. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Odds of spontaneous pregnancy loss. Result(s): We found that a 10-ppb increase in 7-day average levels of nitrogen dioxide was associated with a 16% increase in the odds of spontaneous pregnancy loss (odds ratio [OR] = 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.33; P=.04). A 10-μg/m 3 increase in 3-day and 7-day averages of fine particulate matter were associated with increased risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss, but the associations did not reach statistical significance (OR 3-day average = 1.09; 95% CI 0.99–1.20; P=.05) (OR 7-day average = 1.11; 95% CI 0.99–1.24; P=.06). We found no evidence of increased risk for any other metrics of nitrogen dioxide or fine particulate matter or any metric for ozone. Conclusions: We found that short-term exposure to elevated levels of air pollutants was associated with higher risk for spontaneous pregnancy loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Air pollution
  • NO
  • PM -PM -ultrafine
  • adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • female reproductive effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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