Proximity to Major Roadways and Prospectively-Measured Time-to-Pregnancy and Infertility
We aimed to study the potential impact of proximity to major roadways on time-to-pregnancy and infertility in couples attempting pregnancy in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and Environment (LIFE) study (2005-2009), a population-based, prospective cohort study. Couples attempting pregnancy (n=500) were enrolled and followed prospectively until pregnancy or 12months of trying and 393 couples (78%) had complete data and full follow-up. Time-to-pregnancy was based on a standard protocol using fertility monitors, tracking estrone-3-glucuonide and luteinizing hormone, and pregnancy test kits to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The fecundability odds ratio (FOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using proportional odds models. Infertility was defined as 12months of trying to conceive without an hCG pregnancy and the relative risk (RR) and 95% CI were estimated with log-binomial regression. Final models were adjusted for age, parity, study site, and salivary alpha-amylase, a stress marker. Infertile couples (53/393; 14%) tended to live closer to major roadways on average than fertile couples (689m vs. 843m, respectively) but the difference was not statistically significant. The likelihood of pregnancy was increased 3% for every 200m further away the couples residence was from a major roadway (FOR=1.03; CI=1.01-1.06). Infertility also appeared elevated at moderate distances compared to 1000m or greater, but estimates lacked precision. Our findings suggest that proximity to major roadways may be related to reductions in fecundity. Prospective data from larger populations is warranted to corroborate these findings.