Indoor house pollution, such as cooking and heating with solid fuels like wood and charcoal, is linked to an increase in the risk of adverse birth outcomes, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
British researchers evaluated more than 2,690 cases of eclampsia in Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and found a significant correlation between deaths due to indoor household pollution and eclampsia rates, especially when the eclampsia happened at home.
A link was also established between the pollution and placental hypoxia, a condition where the fetus does not receive enough oxygen.
The researchers said they believe the pollution causes less oxygen to enter the mother’s brain, triggering seizures in women who already may have pre-eclampsia.
The researchers said they will next study whether climate change increases the prevalence of pre-eclampsia or increases the severity of conditions like eclampsia.