IMR Press / CEOG / Volume 48 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.31083/j.ceog4805162
Open Access Review
Air pollution: cardiovascular and other negative effects on pregnancy: a narrative review
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1 Thomas More University College, People & Health 2500 Lier, Belgium
2 Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
3 Departement of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), 2650 Edegem, Belgium
4 Global Health Institute (GHI), University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
*Correspondence: (Leen Van den Eeden)
Clin. Exp. Obstet. Gynecol. 2021, 48(5), 1010–1016;
Submitted: 23 March 2021 | Revised: 7 June 2021 | Accepted: 11 June 2021 | Published: 15 October 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Objectives: The main goal of this narrative review is to summarize the data on the relationship between air pollution and pregnancy outcome. Mechanism: The authors conducted a critical but concise review on published studies relating to particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen oxide versus pregnancy outcome. Findings in brief: (Over) exposure to particulate matter is associated with a negative outcome on fertility and early pregnancy loss. There is an increased risk of congenital birth anomalies, birth weight and pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders with exposure on PM2.5. Exposure to ozone and NO2 decreases the chance of live birth rate and increases the risk of congenital heart diseases, preterm birth and hypertensive disorders. Conclusions: Air pollution is traditionally correlated with adverse health effects. In the current review, we concisely but critically compile the most relevant studies on pregnancy-related effects. Particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide are the key air pollutants. Exposure to these pollutants has been associated with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and negative effects on pregnancy.

Air pollution
Respiratory health
Cardiovascular effects
Fig. 1.
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