Hypertensive disorders are common complications during pregnancy (HDP) with substantial public health impact. Acute and chronic particulate matter (PM) exposure during pregnancy increases the risk of HDP, although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) may be the ideal candidates for mediating the effects of PM exposure in pregnancy as they are released in response to environmental stimuli. The INSIDE project aims to investigate this mechanism in pregnancy outcomes. The study population is enrolled at the Fetal Medicine Unit of Fondazione IRCCS Ca’Granda—Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico at 10–14 weeks of gestation. Exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 is assessed using the flexible air quality regional model (FARM) and Bayesian geostatistical models. Each woman provides a blood sample for EV analysis and circulating biomarker assessment. Moreover, a subgroup of recruited women (n = 85) is asked to participate in a cardiovascular screening program including a standard clinical evaluation, a non-invasive assessment of right ventricular function, and pulmonary circulation at rest and during exercise. These subjects are also asked to wear a personal particulate sampler, to measure PM10, PM2.5, and PM1. The INSIDE study is expected to identify the health impacts of PM exposure on pregnancy outcomes.
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