Association between air particulate matter pollution and blood cell counts of women preparing for pregnancy: Baseline analysis of a national birth cohort in China

Yuan-Yuan Wang, Qin Li, Yuming Guo, Hong Zhou, Qiao-Mei Wang, Hai-Ping Shen, Yi-Ping Zhang, Dong-Hai Yan, Shanshan Li, Gongbo Chen, Li-Zi Lin, Yuan He, Ying Yang, Zuo Qi Peng, Hai Jun Wang, Xu Ma

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Background: Limited evidence is known about whether long-term exposures to air borne particulate matters of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) impact human hematologic index for women preparing for pregnancy. No study assessed the effect of PM1, which is small enough to reach the blood circulation. Objective: To evaluate whether exposure to PM1 and PM2.5 is associated with blood cell count of woman preparing for pregnancy. Method: Based on the baseline data of a national birth cohort in China, we analysed the white blood cell (WBC), red blood cells (RBC) and thrombocyte counts of 1,203,565 women who are aged 18–45 years, being Han ethnicity, had no chronic disease and preparing for pregnancy. We matched their home addresses and examination date with daily concentrations of PM1 and PM2.5 which were estimated by a machine learning method with remote sensing, meteorological and land use information. Generalized additive mixed model to examine the associations between exposure to one-year average exposure to PMs prior to the health examination and the blood cells counts, after adjustment for potential individual variables. Results: A 10 μg/m3 PM1 increment was associated with −1.49% (95%CI: 1.56%, −1.42%) difference in WBC count; with 0.33% (95%CI: 0.30%, 0.36%) difference of RBC count; and with 1.08% (95%CI: 1.01%, 1.15%) difference of thrombocyte count. For PM2.5, the corresponding difference was −0.47% (95%CI: 0.54%, −0.39%) for WBC; was 0.06% (95%CI: 0.03%, 0.09%) for RBC; and was 1.10% (95%CI: 1.02%, 1.18%) for thrombocyte. Women working as workers, being overweight and with tobacco smoking exposure had higher associations between PMs and hematologic index than their counterparts (p < 0.05 for interaction test). Conclusion: Long-term exposure to PMs were associated with decrement in WBC, as well as increment in RBC and thrombocytes among Han Chinese women preparing for pregnancy. Measures such as using air purifiers and wearing a mask in polluted areas should be improved to prevent women from the impact of PMs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111399
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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