Melbourne, Jan 7 (UNI) Pregnant! Stay away from traffic pollution as it can hinder your baby's growth in the womb , adversely affecting his or her health later in life.
An Australian research sends out a warning to pregnant women by revealing that pollution caused by heavy traffic stunts the growth of foetuses which results in unhealthy children later in life.
The study found that mums-to-be who lived in traffic-heavy suburbs were carrying smaller foetuses than those from ''cleaner'' areas, the Australian reported today.
''We already knew that air pollution leads to smaller babies, but we've been able to show these changes happen very early on, when the brain and organs are still developing,'' Queensland University of Technology researcher Dr Adrian Barnett said.
These findings are the first to illustrate the effect of air pollution before birth, the most vital and vulnerable time of development.
Dr Barnett said with research showing that bigger babies were healthier in childhood and adulthood, foetus size during pregnancy was important.
''Birth weight is a major predictor of later health, for example, bigger babies have been shown to have higher IQs in childhood and lower risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood,'' he said.
The study compared compared the foetus sizes of more than 15,000 ultrasound scans to air pollution levels in area surrounding Brisbane. The foetuses were at between 13 and 26 weeks of development.
It found that mothers with a higher exposure to air pollution had foetuses that were, on average, smaller in terms of abdominal circumference, head circumference and femur length.
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