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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Apr 15;193(8):881-8. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201506-1058OC.

Lifetime Exposure to Ambient Pollution and Lung Function in Children.

Author information

1
1 Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.
2
Department of Medicine, and 2 Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
3 Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
4 Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
5
5 Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and.
6
6 Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Few studies have examined associations between exposure to air pollution and childhood lung function after implementation of strict air quality regulations in the 1990s.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess traffic-related pollution exposure and childhood lung function.

METHODS:

We geocoded addresses for 614 mother-child pairs enrolled during pregnancy in the Boston area 1999-2002 and followed them until a mid-childhood visit (median age, 7.7). We calculated the proximity of the home to the nearest major roadway. We estimated first year of life, lifetime, and prior-year exposure to particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) by a hybrid model using satellite-derived aerosol optical depth, and to black carbon (BC) by a land-use regression model.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Residential proximity to roadway and prior-year and lifetime PM2.5 and BC exposure were all associated with lower FVC. Associations with FEV1 were also negative and proportionally similar. Pollution exposures were not associated with the FEV1/FVC ratio or bronchodilator response. Compared with distances greater than or equal to 400 m, living less than 100 m from a major roadway was associated with lower FVC (-98.6 ml; -176.3 to -21.0). Each 2 μg/m(3) increment in prior-year PM2.5 was associated with lower FVC (-21.8 ml; -43.9 to 0.2) and higher odds of FEV1 less than 80% predicted (1.41; 1.03-1.93). Each 0.2 μg/m(3) increment in prior-year BC was associated with a 38.9 ml (-70.4 to -7.3) lower FVC.

CONCLUSIONS:

Estimates of long-term exposure to ambient pollution, including proximity to major roadway, PM2.5, and BC (a traffic-related PM2.5 constituent), were associated with lower lung function in this Boston-area cohort of children with relatively low pollution exposures.

KEYWORDS:

outdoor air pollution; spirometry; traffic

PMID:
26575800
PMCID:
PMC4849180
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201506-1058OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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