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Climate Change, Air Pollution, Pregnancy, and Children’s Health

May 8, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the School of Public Health is holding a lecture at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2023.

“Climate Change, Air Pollution, Pregnancy, and Children’s Health”

Presented by: Stefania Papatheodorou, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

From the event description: Climate change is a global health crisis that is expected to have significant impacts on human health, while pregnant individuals and children are particularly vulnerable. Recent studies have suggested that extreme weather events, air pollution, and other climate-related factors may increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and childhood conditions. However, the field of air pollution, climate change, and children’s health is lacking robust evidence to inform air quality policy driven by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This talk is going to provide an overview of current epidemiologic evidence on climate change, air pollution, and pregnancy and childhood outcomes; describe limitations of the current studies; and present ways to overcome these limitations with the use of big data. Real-world evidence can be leveraged to establish pregnancy pediatric cohorts with prospectively collected information that replicate the traditional “exposure pediatric registries” in a very efficient manner in terms of time and cost and avoid many of the potential biases that challenge ad hoc pregnancy registries (e.g., selection bias, small samples). Combined with high resolution exposure data, urgent questions can be answered, and crucial evidence can be provided to inform policy making and design-targeted interventions to protect the health of pregnant individuals and children.

About the presenter: Stefania Papatheodorou is a lecturer in epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a trained obstetrician and gynecologist, with focus on environmental risk factors for pregnancy-related diseases as well as long-term childhood outcomes such as children’s neurodevelopment due to environmental exposures during pregnancy. Her research emphasizes estimating the health effects of in utero and early life exposure to climate change parameters, air pollutants, and their interactions in pregnant individuals and children. She uses real-world data and advanced epidemiologic methods to provide accurate information and high-quality evidence that can minimize bias and confounding in environmental and clinical epidemiology research guidelines; inform public health policy about regulations and safety thresholds; incorporate the role of environmental risk factors in the development of clinical guidelines; and, ultimately, improve the health of individuals and communities.

Online via Zoom and at the School of Public Health – Classroom 3A/B, 683 Hoes Ln. West, Piscataway, NJ

Free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required for in-person attendance; email Jennifer Zabala Velasquez at to request Zoom login information.


May 8, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Rutgers School of Public Health
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