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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010 Mar;21(2 Pt 1):253-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2009.00952.x. Epub 2009 Oct 12.

Exposure to traffic exhaust and night cough during early childhood: the CCAAPS birth cohort.

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Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056, USA.


Though studies have investigated the association between air pollution and respiratory health outcomes in children, few have focused on night cough. The study objective was to simultaneously evaluate family factors (i.e., race, gender, maternal and paternal asthma, and breastfeeding), health (allergen sensitization and wheezing symptoms), home factors (dog, cat, mold, endotoxin, and dust mite), and other environmental exposures (traffic exhaust and second-hand tobacco smoke) for associations with recurrent dry night cough (RNC) during early childhood. A structural equation model with repeat measures was developed assessing RNC at ages one, two, and three. The prevalence of RNC was relatively large and similar at ages, one, two, and three at 21.6%, 17.3%, and 21.1%, respectively. Children exposed to the highest tertile of traffic exhaust had an estimated 45% increase in risk of RNC compared with children less exposed (adjusted OR 1.45, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.94). Also, wheezing was associated with a 76% higher risk of RNC (adjusted OR 1.76, 95% CI: 1.36, 2.26). A protective trend for breastfeeding was found with a 27% reduction in risk associated with breastfeeding (adjusted OR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.53, 1.01). No other factors were significant. These results suggest that traffic exhaust exposure may be a risk factor for night cough in young children.

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