Background: Numerous earlier studies examining the association of air pollution with maternal and foetal health estimated maternal exposure to air pollutants based on the women's residential addresses. However, residential addresses, which are personally identifiable information, are not always obtainable. Since a majority of pregnant women reside near their delivery hospitals, the concentrations of air pollutants at the respective delivery hospitals may be surrogate markers of pollutant exposure at home. We compared air pollutant concentrations measured at the nearest monitoring station to Kyushu University Hospital with those measured at the closest monitoring stations to the respective residential postal code regions of pregnant women in Fukuoka. Methods: Aggregated postal code data for the home addresses of pregnant women who delivered at Kyushu University Hospital in 2014 was obtained from Kyushu University Hospital. For each of the study's 695 women who resided in Fukuoka Prefecture, we assigned pollutant concentrations measured at the nearest monitoring station to Kyushu University Hospital and pollutant concentrations measured at the nearest monitoring station to their respective residential postal code regions. Results: Among the 695 women, 584 (84.0%) resided in the proximity of the nearest monitoring station to hospital or one of the four other stations (as the nearest stations to their respective residential postal code region) in Fukuoka city. Pearson's correlation for daily mean concentrations among the monitoring stations in Fukuoka city was strong for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), suspended particulate matter (SPM), and photochemical oxidants (Ox) (coefficients ≥0.9), but moderate for coarse particulate matter (the result of subtracting the PM2.5 from the SPM concentrations), nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide. Hospital-based and residence-based concentrations of PM2.5, SPM, and Ox were comparable. Conclusions: For PM2.5, SPM, and Ox, exposure estimation based on the delivery hospital is likely to approximate that based on the home of pregnant women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health