Affiliations: [a] School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, London, ON, Canada
| [b] Department of Paediatrics, Western University, London, ON, Canada
Children’s Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
| [e] Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, London, ON, Canada
| [f] Department of Geography, Western University, London, ON, Canada
| [g] School of Health Studies, Western University, London, ON, Canada
| [h] Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University, London, ON, Canada
Address for correspondence: Dr. Jamie A. Seabrook, Brescia University College at Western University, 1285 Western
Road, London, ON, N6G 1H2, Canada. Tel.: +1 519 432 8353/EXT. 28284; Fax: +1 519 858 5137; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Adverse birth outcomes are associated with neonatal morbidity and mortality, and higher risk for coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes and hypertension in adulthood. Although there has been considerable research investigating the association between maternal and environmental factors on adverse birth outcomes, one risk factor, not fully understood, is the influence of the built environment. A search of MEDLINE, Scopus, and Cochrane was conducted to find articles assessing the influence of the built environment on preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and small-for-gestational-age (SGA). In total, 41 studies met our inclusion criteria, and were organized into nine categories: Roadways, Greenness, Power Plants, Gas Stations/Wells, Waste Management, Power Lines, Neighborhood Conditions, Food Environment, and Industry. The most common built environmental variable was roads/traffic, encompassing 17/41 (41%) of the articles reviewed, of which 12/17 (71%) found a significant small to moderate association between high traffic exposure and adverse birth outcomes.
Keywords: Birth outcomes, built environment, environmental epidemiology, low birth weight, preterm birth, small for gestational age, physical environment