News from CREAL
Results from this study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, suggest that early life or in-utero exposure to air pollution and soot may contribute to increase asthma incidence in childhood.
Raised levels of ambient air pollution are widely recognised as a risk factor for asthma exacerbation. This research, led by Ulrike Gehring, in which Dr. Josep M. Antó and Dr. Elaine Fuertes, researchers at CREAL, an ISGlobal allied center, also participated, used land-use regression to analyse the association between air pollution exposure and the incidence of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis in four birth cohorts from Sweden (BAMSE), Germany (GINI/LISA North and South), and the Netherlands (PIAMA). The main finding was that increasing exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter absorbance with a diameter of less than 2·5 µm (a maker of soot) at participants’ birth addresses increased the risk of incident asthma up to age 14–16 years, but not rhinoconjunctivitis. Associations with asthma were similar in magnitude to other studies linking air pollution with asthma incidence.
Associations between asthma incidence and other measures of particulate matter were not observed. “The present study is important and timely, because it contributes to our understanding of the adverse health effects of air pollution exposure during a crucial period of asthma susceptibility”, explained Fuertes.
Exposure to air pollution and development of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis throughout childhood and adolescence: a population-based birth cohort study. Ulrike Gehring et al. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine