A study is making a bold claim about the cause of stillbirth for many pregnant women.
An alarming new study has found that something all around us may be putting pregnant women at risk of having a stillbirth.
A small study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine has found that there may be a link between air pollution and heightened stillbirth risk, according to a BMJ statement.
The study would explain the vastly different regional variations in the world’s stillbirth rates, and may indicate that it’s possible to prevent many of the 2.6 million stillbirths that happened last year.
It’s not the first time air pollution has been proposed as a risk factor for stillbirth, but previous examinations could only draw a weak connection. This study, although small, suggests a strong link between the risk of stillbirth and exposure to air pollution in the third term of pregnancy in particular.
More research will be needed as it doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, but it provides a new avenue of research for scientists.
“Stillbirth is one of the most neglected tragedies in global health today, and the existing evidence summarised by [the authors] deserves additional investigation,” Dr. Marie Pedersen, of the Centre for Epidemiology and Screening, University of Copenhagen, said in the statement. “If the evidence of an association between ambient air population and stillbirth is confirmed in future studies, it would be of major public health importance.”