Air pollutants increase risk of painful periods for women
The study finds increased incidence of Dysmenorrhea in women exposed to higher concentrations of NO, NO2, NOx, CO, and PM2.5.

Air pollution is speculated to affect the reproductive health of women. The study aimed to examine an association between exposure to air pollution and dysmenorrhea.

Women with a history of dysmenorrhea before 2000 were excluded. All participants were followed from January 1, 2000, until the diagnosis of dysmenorrhea, withdrawal from National Health Insurance, or December 31, 2013. Furthermore, air pollutants were categorized into quartiles with three cut-off points (25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles).

This study enrolled 296,078 women. The mean concentrations of yearly air pollutants were 28.2 ppb for nitric oxides (NOx), 8.91 ppb for nitric oxide (NO), 19.3 ppb for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 0.54 ppm for carbon monoxide (CO), and 31.8 μg/m3 for PM2.5.

- In total, 12,514 individuals developed dysmenorrhea during the 12-year follow-up.

- Relative to women exposed to Q1 concentrations of NOx, women exposed to Q4 concentrations exhibited a significantly higher dysmenorrhea risk; similarly higher risk was found for exposure to NO and NO2.

- For CO, the relative dysmenorrhea risk in women with Q4 level exposure was 28.7. For PM2.5, women at the Q4 exposure level were 27.6 times more likely to develop dysmenorrhea.

The results showed that women would have higher dysmenorrhea incidences while exposed to high concentrations of NO, NO2, NOx, CO, and PM2.5.

Frontiers in Public Health
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