Exposure to landscape fire smoke reduced birthweight in low- and middle-income countries: findings from a siblings-matched case-control study

Background: Landscape fire smoke (LFS) has been associated with reduced birthweight, but evidence from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is rare. Methods: Here, we present a sibling-matched case–control study of 227,948 newborns to identify an association between fire-sourced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and birthweight in 54 LMICs from 2000 to 2014. We selected mothers from the geocoded Demographic and Health Survey with at least two children and valid birthweight records. Newborns affiliated with the same mother were defined as a family group. Gestational exposure to LFS was assessed in each newborn using the concentration of fire-sourced PM2.5. We determined the associations of the within-group variations in LFS exposure with birthweight differences between matched siblings using a fixed-effects regression model. Additionally, we analyzed the binary outcomes of low birthweight (LBW) or very low birthweight (VLBW). Results: According to fully adjusted models, a 1 µg/m3 increase in the concentration of fire-sourced PM2.5 was significantly associated with a 2.17 g (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56–3.77) reduction in birthweight, a 2.80% (95% CI 0.97–4.66) increase in LBW risk, and an 11.68% (95% CI 3.59–20.40) increase in VLBW risk. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that gestational exposure to LFS harms fetal health. Funding: PKU-Baidu Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Peking University Health Science Centre, and CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences.Read more…

Background: Landscape fire smoke (LFS) has been associated with reduced birthweight, but evidence from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is rare. Methods: Here, we present a sibling-matched case–control study of 227,948 newborns to identify an association between fire-sourced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and birthweight in 54 LMICs from 2000 to 2014. We selected mothers from the geocoded Demographic and Health Survey with at least two children and valid birthweight records. Newborns affiliated with the same mother were defined as a family group. Gestational exposure to LFS was assessed in each newborn using the concentration of fire-sourced PM2.5. We determined the associations of the within-group variations in LFS exposure with birthweight differences between matched siblings using a fixed-effects regression model. Additionally, we analyzed the binary outcomes of low birthweight (LBW) or very low birthweight (VLBW). Results: According to fully adjusted models, a 1 µg/m3 increase in the concentration of fire-sourced PM2.5 was significantly associated with a 2.17 g (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56–3.77) reduction in birthweight, a 2.80% (95% CI 0.97–4.66) increase in LBW risk, and an 11.68% (95% CI 3.59–20.40) increase in VLBW risk. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that gestational exposure to LFS harms fetal health. Funding: PKU-Baidu Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Peking University Health Science Centre, and CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences.Read more…


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