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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Aug;160(2):390-6.

Lung function growth and ambient ozone: a three-year population study in school children.

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University Children's Hospital of Vienna, and Pulmologic Centre, First Internal Department, Vienna, Austria.


We followed a cohort of 1,150 children for 3 yr to investigate long-term effects of ambient ozone. Nine study sites were selected on the basis of air-quality data to represent a broad range of ozone exposure. In 1994, 1995, and 1996 lung function was recorded biannually, always before and after summertime. The effect of ozone was analyzed with regression analyses and study-site, a child's sex, atopy, passive smoking, baseline lung function, and increase in height were considered as confounding variables. A negative effect of summertime ozone on the pre- to post-summer-time change in FEV(1) (ml/d) was present in 1994 (beta = -0.019 ml/d/ppb; p < 0.01) and in 1995 (beta = -0.017 ml/d/ ppb; p < 0.05), but not in 1996 (beta = 0. 004 ml/d/ppb; p = 0.6); corresponding estimates for FVC were in 1994: beta = -0.022 ml/d/ppb, p < 0.005; 1995: beta = -0.018 ml/d/ppb, p < 0.05; and 1996: beta = 0.006 ml/d/ppb, p = 0.46. When all three study years were considered simultaneously, i.e., the changes in lung function between each of two subsequent surveys being the dependent variable, summertime ozone was associated with a lesser increase in FEV(1) (beta = -0.029 ml/d/ppb; p < 0.001), FVC (beta = -0.018 ml/d/ppb; p < 0.001), and MEF(50) (beta = -0.076 ml/s/d; p = 0.001). No consistent associations were observed for lung function and NO(2), SO(2) and PM(10). Long-term ambient ozone exposure might negatively influence lung function growth.

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