Ambient air pollution exposure, residential mobility and term birth weight in Oslo, Norway

Environ Res. 2010 May;110(4):363-71. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Mar 15.


Environmental exposure during pregnancy may have lifelong health consequences for the offspring and some studies have association between maternal exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and offspring's birth weight. However, many of these studies do not take into account small-scale variations in exposure, residential mobility, and work addresses during pregnancy. We used information from the National Birth Registry of Norway to examine associations between ambient environmental exposure such as air pollution and temperature, and offspring's birth weight taking advantage of information on migration history and work address in a large population-based cohort. A dispersion model was used to estimate ambient air pollution levels at all residential addresses and work addresses for a total of 25,229 pregnancies between 1999 and 2002 in Oslo, Norway. Ambient exposure to traffic pollution for the entire pregnancy was associated with a reduction in term birth weight in crude analyzes when comparing children of the highest and lowest exposed mothers. No evidence for an association between exposure to traffic pollution at home and work addresses and term birth weight after adjustment for covariates known to influence birth weight during pregnancy. After stratification, small statistically non-significant reductions were present but only for multiparious mothers. This group also had less residential mobility and less employment during pregnancy. The overall findings suggest no clear association between term birth weight and traffic pollution exposure during pregnancy. However, mobility patterns could introduce possible confounding when examining small-scale variations in exposure by using addresses. This could be of importance in future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Movements
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Birth Weight*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis*
  • Inhalation Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Norway
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Term Birth*
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter