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Air Pollution Linked to Infant Deaths | Global Health | JAMA | JAMA Network
Poor air quality is responsible for 1 in 5 infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study published in Nature.

To quantify the effect of breathable air pollutants on premature deaths among infants in Africa, the investigators examined recent satellite-based estimates of air pollutant particles (ambient respirable particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm [PM2.5]). They combined the air quality data with results from 65 household surveys across 30 sub-Saharan African countries on the timing and location of almost 1 million infant births—and any subsequent deaths in the first year of life—between 2001 and 2015. They then matched the location and timing of each birth to satellite-based estimates of PM2.5 exposure from 9 months before birth to 12 months after.

The investigators found a strong linear association of infant mortality with increases in PM2.5 exposure. Specifically, with every 10 μg per cubic meter increase in the concentration of breathable particulate matter in the first 12 months of life, there was about a 9% increase in infant mortality. This association was consistent over the study’s 15 years and was independent of household wealth.

Concentrations of PM2.5 higher than minimum exposure levels were responsible for 22% of infant deaths in 30 countries and led to 449 000 additional infant deaths in 2015. This estimate is more than 3 times higher than earlier data, suggesting poor air quality is an even bigger problem than previously appreciated.
air  pollution  environmental  factors  environment  infant  mortality  Africa  particulate  matter  risk  peer-reviewed  research  correlation  human  in  vivo  population  situ 
8 weeks ago by Michael.Massing
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