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Folate defends against adverse reproductive effects of traffic-related pollution

03 Aug 2019

Supplemental folate intake appears to mitigate the adverse effect of exposure to raised levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on the likelihood of a live birth in women undergoing assisted reproductive technologies (ART), according to a study.

Researchers examined 304 women (513 cycles; mean age, 35.2 years; mean body mass index, 24.3 kg/m2) presenting to a fertility centre. Women in this cohort had high intake levels of total (median, 1,100 µg/day) and supplemental folate (median, 571 µg/day). Overall, 16 percent and 20 percent of the population consumed <400 and 1,000 µg/day of supplemental folate, respectively.

In 468 of the initiated cycles with at least one embryo transferred, 290 resulted in implantation, 257 in clinical pregnancy and 206 in live birth. Women contributed an average of 1.7 ART cycles.

During the study period, the median (10th–90th percentile) estimated air pollution concentrations in the 3 months prior to ART were 22.9 ppb for NO2, 34.2 ppb for ozone (O3), 8.5 µg/m3 for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 0.49 µg/m3 for black carbon. Correlations between pollutants were modest, with the highest magnitude observed for NO2 and black carbon (r, 0.39). Ozone showed weak inverse correlations with NO2 (r, –0.13) and black carbon (r, –0.22).

Supplemental folate intake significantly modified the association between NO2 exposure and live birth (p=0.01). Among women with supplemental folate intake level of <800 μg/day, the likelihood of live birth decreased by 24 percent for every 20-ppb increase in NO2 exposure. This association was not observed among women with supplemental folate intake levels of ≥800 μg/day.

Furthermore, folate did not modify the associations between other air pollutants and live birth.

The findings indicate that high supplemental folate intake may protect against the adverse reproductive consequences of traffic-related air pollution, the researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

Beta-blockers could reduce mortality risk in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and moderate or moderately-severe renal dysfunction without causing harm, according to the BB-META-HF* trial presented at ESC 2019.

Stephen Padilla, 6 days ago
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Pearl Toh, 09 Sep 2019
Use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) was associated with a significantly increased risk of invasive breast cancer, which became progressively greater with longer duration of use, a meta-analysis of worldwide prospective epidemiological studies has shown.
5 days ago
Blood pressure (BP) in children is influenced by early-life exposure to several chemicals, built environment and meteorological factors, suggests a study.