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Associations between air pollution and pediatric eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma A meta-analysis of European birth cohorts

Elaine Fuertes 1, 2 Jordi Sunyer 1, 3, 4 Ulrike Gehring 5 Daniela Porta 6 Francesco Forastiere 6 Giulia Cesaroni 6 Martine Vrijheid 1 Mònica Guxens 3, 7, 4, 1 Isabella Annesi-Maesano 8 Rémy Slama 9 Dieter Maier 10 Manolis Kogevinas 3 Jean Bousquet 11, 12 Leda Chatzi 13 Aitana Lertxundi 14 Mikel Basterrechea 15 Ana Esplugues 15 Amparo Ferrero 3 John Wright Dan Mason Rosie Mceachan Judith Garcia-Aymerich 16 Bénédicte Jacquemin 17, 18, 19
Abstract : Background - Uncertainly continues to exist regarding the role of air pollution on pediatric asthma and allergic conditions, especially as air pollution levels have started to decrease in recent decades. Objective - We examined associations of long-term air pollution levels at the home address with pediatric eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma prevalences in five birth cohorts (BIB, EDEN, GASPII, RHEA and INMA) from seven areas in five European countries. Methods - Current eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma were assessed in children aged four (N = 6527) and eight years (N = 2489). A multi-morbidity outcome (≥2 conditions versus none) was also defined. Individual outdoor levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO), nitrogen oxides, mass of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <10 μm (PM), 10-2.5 μm (PM) and <2.5 μm (PM), and PM absorbance were assigned to the birth, four- and eight-year home addresses using highly defined spatial air pollution exposure models. Cohort-specific cross-sectional associations were assessed using logistic regression models adjusted for demographic and environmental covariates and combined in a random effects meta-analysis. Results - The overall prevalence of pediatric eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma at four years was 15.4%, 5.9% and 12.4%. We found no increase in the prevalence of these outcomes at four or eight years with increasing air pollution exposure. For example, the meta-analysis adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma at four years were 0.94 (0.81, 1.09), 0.90 (0.75, 1.09), and 0.91 (0.74, 1.11), respectively, per 10 μg/m increase in NO at the birth address, and 1.00 (0.81, 1.23), 0.70 (0.49, 1.00) and 0.88 (0.54, 1.45), respectively, per 5 μg/m increase in PM at the birth address. Discussion - In this large meta-analysis of five birth cohorts, we found no indication of adverse effects of long-term air pollution exposure on the prevalence of current pediatric eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis or asthma.
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Elaine Fuertes, Jordi Sunyer, Ulrike Gehring, Daniela Porta, Francesco Forastiere, et al.. Associations between air pollution and pediatric eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma A meta-analysis of European birth cohorts. Environment International, Elsevier, 2020, 136, pp.105474. ⟨10.1016/j.envint.2020.105474⟩. ⟨hal-02470888⟩

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