Incense Burning during Pregnancy and Birth Weight...

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Incense Burning during Pregnancy and Birth Weight...

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:10 am

Incense Burning during Pregnancy and Birth Weight and Head Circumference among Term Births:
The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study

Le-Yu Chen1 and Christine Ho2


Background: Incense burning for rituals or religious purposes is an important tradition in many countries. However, incense smoke contains particulate matter and gas products such as carbon monoxide, sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, which are potentially harmful to health.

Objectives: We analyzed the relationship between prenatal incense burning and birth weight and head circumference at birth using the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study. We also analyzed whether the associations varied by gender and along the distribution of birth outcomes.

Methods: We performed ordinary least squares (OLS) and quantile regressions analysis on a sample of 15,773 term births (> 37 gestational weeks, 8,216 boys and 7,557 girls) in Taiwan in 2005. The associations were estimated separately for boys and girls as well as for the population as a whole. We controlled extensively for factors that may be correlated with incense burning and birth weight and head circumference, such as parental religion, demographics and health characteristics, as well as pregnancy related variables.

Results: Findings from fully-adjusted OLS regressions indicated that exposure to incense was associated with lower birth weight in boys (–18 grams; 95% CI: –36, –0.94) but not girls (1 gram; 95% CI –17, 19; interaction p-value = 0.31). Associations with head circumference were negative for boys (–0.95mm; 95% CI: –1.8, –0.16) and girls (–0.71mm; 95% CI: –1.5, 0.11; interaction p-value = 0.73). Quantile regression results suggested that the negative associations were larger among the lower quantiles of birth outcomes.

Conclusions: Prenatal incense burning was associated with lower birth weight for boys and smaller head circumference for boys and girls from OLS regressions. The associations were more pronounced among the lower quantiles of birth outcomes. Further research is necessary to confirm whether incense burning has differential effects by gender.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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