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Environmental inequities and low birth weight.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanità
Publication Date
Volume
39
Issue
2
Pages
229–234
Identifiers
PMID: 14587222
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The effects of environmental exposures to toxic agents, are related to different levels of exposure, genetic and biological susceptibility, risk perception and socioeconomic status (SES). In the present study we suggest that environmental influences on human reproduction should include investigations on SES, that can play an important role in embryo-foetal development. Low birth weight (LBW) is a risk factor for developing in adulthood coronary hearth disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Maternal nutritional status and other hypothesis could explain LBW, however, environmental exposures are recognised as essential risk factors. Different studies evidenced an increased risk of LBW in relation to increased environmental air levels of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide. Considering different risk possibilities and different risk perceptions, there is a need of a different scientific approach in which the scientific knowledge is connected with ethical and socioeconomic factors, for risk management, in order to overcome the environmental health inequities based on social contest.

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