SEOUL, Mar. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent study has revealed that pregnant women living in areas suffering from severe fine dust are 1.57 times more exposed to the dangers of giving birth to a premature infant.
Premature infants are babies born before 37 completed weeks of gestation.
A researchers said that they have found a correlation between regional fine dust levels and birth rate of premature infants based on the analysis of 1,742,183 birth records between 2010 and 2013.
The study was published in the most recent edition of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The data showed that 7.4 percent of pregnant women living in areas where fine dust levels exceeded 70㎍/㎥ gave birth to a premature infant, while only 4.7 percent gave birth to a premature infant in areas below 70㎍/㎥ of fine dust.
The research team argued that women living in areas where fine dust levels exceed 70㎍/㎥ are 1.57 times more exposed to the dangers of giving birth to a premature infant, and 1.97 times more likely to give birth to an ‘extremely premature infant’ after fewer than 32 weeks of gestation.
In South Korea, this correlation has been observed more clearly to the west of the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area, as well as among large cities and areas heavily populated by factories.
“If we consider the secondary problems that come with giving birth to a premature infant, the case becomes even more critical,” said Dr. Kim Yoo-jin at the Kyung Hee University Hospital.
“We need to conduct long-term, multi-faceted research on pregnant women to find a way to prevent fine dust from affecting the child,” said Dr. Song In-kyu, the researcher at the National Cancer Center.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)