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BACKGROUND: Due to different social and physical environments across Africa, understanding how these environments differ in interacting with placental disorders will play an important role in developing effective interventions. METHODS: A scoping review was conducted, to identify current knowledge on interactions between the physical and social environment and the incidence of placental disease in Africa. RESULTS: Heavy metals were said to be harmful when environmental concentrations are beyond critical limits. Education level, maternal age, attendance of antenatal care and parity were the most investigated social determinants. CONCLUSIONS: More evidence is needed to determine the relationships between the environment and placental function in Africa. The results show that understanding the nature of the relationship between social determinants of health (SDH) and placental health outcomes plays a pivotal role in understanding the risk in the heterogenous communities in Africa.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Environ Res Public Health

Publication Date





Africa, environment, placental function, social determinants