MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pauline Mendola, PhD
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
Bethesda, MD 20892
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: We compared ambient air pollution levels at the residences of couples who were trying to get pregnant and estimated the risk of pregnancy loss associated with common pollutants. No prior studies have been done in the United States and most studies are retrospective, looking back in time, and asking couples to report on their reproductive outcomes. Without detailed prospective follow-up, early pregnancy losses that occur before entry into care (i.e., before women are aware that they are pregnant) are often missed. In contrast, we studied 501 couples in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study who were enrolled before pregnancy and followed until they became pregnant or tried for 12 months without a pregnancy. Using this prospective data, we found that both ozone and fine particles (PM2.5) were associated with a 12-13% increased risk of early pregnancy loss.