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Exposure to nitrogen dioxide lowers in vitro fertilization success
Date:4/12/2010

Exposure to an increased level of air pollutants, especially nitrogen dioxide, has been associated with lower likelihoods of successful pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization, according to a team of fertility researchers.

The team examined the outcomes of the first pregnancy attempt of 7,403 women undergoing IVF at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa.; Shady Grove Fertility, Rockville, Md.; and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, N.Y. They conducted their observations over a seven-year period from 2000 to 2007.

"Numerous studies have consistently shown a relationship between air pollution and human health, ranging from mortality, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions," said Duanping Liao, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and vice chair department of public health sciences, Penn State College of Medicine. "In the process of searching for the mechanisms responsible for the above associations, we, and others, have reported significant links between air pollution and inflammation and increased blood clotting. These intermediate factors are also associated with reproductive health."

The IVF population was chosen, as it is a well-controlled and timed process to investigate the association of air pollution and human reproductive effects.

Burning of fossil fuels and diesel engine combustion produces nitrogen dioxide and fine particles. Researchers looked at those pollutants along with ozone, the gas involved in smog formation. While the effects of declining air quality on IVF success are variable and pollutant-dependent, elevated exposures to nitrogen dioxide and fine particles were consistently associated with lower success rates of pregnancy.

Researchers looked at the effects of pollution particles both individually -- single pollutant model, and with other particles -- multi-pollutant model. For the single pollutant model, exposure to ozone ap
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Contact: Matt Solevey
msolovey@hmc.psu.edu
717-531-8606
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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