Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Babies born earlier in areas near busy road junctions

Date:
May 26, 2011
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
A study of 970 women and their babies found that living near a large number of road junctions increased the risk of pre-term birth.

Babies are born earlier when their mothers live near a concentration of freeways and main roads, a study of 970 mothers and their newborn babies in Logan City, south of Brisbane, has found.

Related Articles


Senior research fellow Associate Professor Adrian Barnett from Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) said the study, published April 4 in the online journal Environmental Health, showed that the more freeways and highways around a pregnant woman's home, the higher the likelihood of her baby being born prematurely.

"The most striking result was the reduction in gestation time of 4.4 per cent or almost two weeks associated with an increase in freeways within 400 metres of the women's home," said Professor Barnett, whose earlier study found a strong association between increased air pollution and small fetus size.

"Although the increased risks are relatively small, the public health implications are large because everyone living in an urban area gets exposed to air pollution. Pre-term and low-birth weight babies stay in hospital longer after birth, have an increased risk of death and are more likely to develop disabilities."

Professor Barnett said although air pollution levels in south-east Queensland were low compared with industrial cities, people's exposure to the chemical toxins in vehicle emissions was relatively high because of our outdoor lifestyle and open houses.

The study counted the number of roads around the mother's homes up to a 500 metre radius.

"We examined the distance between the home and busy roads to find the distance at which most of the negative effects on birth outcomes occurred because this has implications for local governments planning expansions or new roads," he said.

Most of the effects were within a 200-metre radius, but negative health effects were present up to 400 metres.

Professor Barnett said the study had also taken into account the effects of smoking levels and the socio-economic status of the mothers.

The effects of noise pollution were considered to be a possible contributing factor, but Professor Barnett said it was difficult to separate the effects of air and noise pollution.

"Vehicles braking and starting means that road junctions have some of the highest levels of noise and air pollution," he said.

"Disturbed sleep during pregnancy may cause extra stress and be a risk factor for adverse birth outcomes.

"This study points to the fact that pregnant women should reduce their exposure to traffic. A reduction in traffic emissions through improved vehicles or increased public transport use would have immediate health benefits by giving children a better start to life."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adrian G Barnett, Kathryn Plonka, W. Kim Seow, Lee-Ann Wilson and Craig Hansen. Increased traffic exposure and negative birth outcomes: a prospective cohort in Australia. Environmental Health, 2011, 10:26 DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-26

Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Babies born earlier in areas near busy road junctions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093153.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2011, May 26). Babies born earlier in areas near busy road junctions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093153.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Babies born earlier in areas near busy road junctions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093153.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins