Impact of environmental factors and poverty on pregnancy outcomes

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Jun;51(2):349-59. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31816f276e.


Studies have indicated that various societal factors such as toxicant exposure, maternal habits, occupational hazards, psychosocial factors, socioeconomic status, racial disparity, chronic stress, and infection may impact pregnancy outcomes. These outcomes include spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, alterations in the development of the fetus, and long-term health of offspring. Although much is known about individual pregnancy outcomes, little is known about the associations between societal factors and pregnancy outcomes. This manuscript reviews some of the literature available on the effects of the above-mentioned societal factors on pregnancy outcomes and examines some potential remedies for preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / prevention & control
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Life Style
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Social Class
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*
  • Stress, Physiological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Physiological / prevention & control