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expert reaction to study of air pollution during pregnancy and biological ageing of newborns

Publishing in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers looked at prenatal air pollution exposure and telomere length at birth. They reported that mothers who were exposed to higher levels of particles below 2.5 μm in diameter, gave birth to children with shorter telomere length.


Prof. Rebecca Reynolds, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh, said:

“This carefully conducted study adds to the growing literature that environmental exposures in pregnancy impact on offspring health. The authors explore a potential underlying mechanism by measuring changes in telomere length in placenta and cord blood. Further research is needed to determine whether these changes impact on infant health and development and to understand whether there is a ‘critical window’ during pregnancy when environmental exposures have the most detrimental effects.”


* ‘Prenatal Air Pollution and Newborns’ Predisposition to Accelerated Biological Aging’ by Dries S. Martens et al. was published in JAMA Pediatrics  on Monday 16 October.


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