Data on exposure to greenspace during pregnancy and preterm birth

Published: 3 June 2024| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/yghymb6p49.2
Mahboobeh Jafari, Mohammad Miri, Jila Agah


Research Hypothesis Our study hypothesized that exposure to green spaces during pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of preterm birth. Specifically, we aimed to investigate whether proximity to green spaces and higher levels of vegetation around residential areas correlate with lower rates of preterm birth in Sabzevar, Iran. Data Description The data for this study were obtained from the preterm registration program in Sabzevar, spanning from 2015 to 2019. It includes a comprehensive census of 948 mother-newborn pairs who delivered at Shahidan Mobini Hospital. Green space exposure was quantified using Landsat 8 satellite imagery, and vegetation density was measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). NDVI values were calculated within 100, 300, and 500-meter buffers around the residential addresses of the participants. Proximity to green spaces was also assessed using Euclidean distance based on a detailed land use map of the study area. Notable Findings Our analysis categorized preterm births into three groups: preterm birth (> 37 weeks of gestation), moderately preterm birth (> 35 weeks of gestation), and very preterm birth (> 30 weeks of gestation). The results indicated no statistically significant differences in NDVI values across the various buffer zones (100m, 300m, and 500m) between the different preterm birth groups (p > 0.05). Similarly, the distance to major green spaces did not show significant variations among the preterm birth categories (p > 0.05). Interpretation of Data The lack of statistically significant differences in NDVI values and proximity to green spaces among the preterm birth groups suggests that, within the context of our study, green space exposure during pregnancy may not be a significant factor influencing the rate of preterm births in Sabzevar. This finding is critical as it challenges the assumption that green space exposure universally benefits maternal and fetal health by potentially reducing the risk of preterm birth. Utilization of Data Researchers and public health officials can use this dataset to further explore environmental factors affecting maternal and child health in urbanizing areas. The detailed spatial data on green space exposure combined with comprehensive birth records provide a robust foundation for examining other potential health outcomes related to environmental exposure. Future studies could expand on this research by including additional variables such as air quality, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare to provide a more nuanced understanding of the determinants of preterm birth. By providing a clear description of our hypothesis, methodology, findings, and implications, we aim to facilitate the use of this data by other researchers and policymakers to inform urban planning and public health strategies.



Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences


Medicine, Epidemiology, Environmental Health of the Built Environment