A prospective study of the impact of air pollution on respiratory symptoms and infections in infants

Stern, Georgette and Latzin, Philipp and Röösli, Martin and Fuchs, Oliver and Proietti, Elena and Kuehni, Claudia and Frey, Urs. (2013) A prospective study of the impact of air pollution on respiratory symptoms and infections in infants. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine : an official journal of the American Thoracic Society, Vol. 187, H. 12. pp. 1341-1348.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6164972

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Rationale: There is increasing evidence that short-term exposure to air pollution has a detrimental effect on respiratory health, but data from healthy populations, particularly infants, are scarce. Objectives: To assess the association of air pollution with frequency and severity of respiratory symptoms and infections measured weekly in healthy infants. Methods: In a prospective birth cohort of 366 infants of unselected mothers, respiratory health was assessed weekly by telephone interviews during the first year of life (19,106 total observations). Daily mean levels of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) were obtained from local monitoring stations. We determined the association of the preceding week's pollutant levels with symptom scores and respiratory tract infections using a generalized additive mixed model with an autoregressive component. In addition, we assessed whether neonatal lung function influences this association and whether duration of infectious episodes differed between weeks with normal PM10 and weeks with elevated levels. Measurements and Main Results: We found a significant association between air pollution and respiratory symptoms, particularly in the week after respiratory tract infections (risk ratio, 1.13 [1.02-1.24] per 10 μg/m(3) PM10 levels) and in infants with premorbid lung function. During times of elevated PM10 (<33.3 μg/m(3)), duration of respiratory tract infections increased by 20% (95% confidence interval, 2-42%). Conclusions: Exposure to even moderate levels of air pollution was associated with increased respiratory symptoms in healthy infants. Particularly in infants with premorbid lung function and inflammation, air pollution contributed to longer duration of infectious episodes with a potentially large socioeconomic impact.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health > Physical Hazards and Health (Röösli)
UniBasel Contributors:Röösli, Martin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:HighWire Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Apr 2014 08:00
Deposited On:25 Apr 2014 08:00

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