Title: Effect of prenatal exposure to fine particles and postnatal indoor air quality on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms in the first two years of life

Authors: Wieslaw Jedrychowski, Frederica Perera, Umberto Maugeri, John D. Spengler, Elzbieta Mroz, Virginia Rauh, Elzbieta Flak, Agnieszka Pac, Ryszard Jacek, Susan Edwards

Addresses: Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland. ' Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. ' Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Research Institute for Studies in Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pavia, Italy. ' Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, USA. ' Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.'Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.' Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.' Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.' Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.' Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess an impact of prenatal exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) on the risk of developing respiratory symptoms in early childhood. The study was carried out in a cohort of 465 newborns in Krakow (Poland) who have been followed over the first two years of life. The children exposed to medium level of PM2.5 (>35.3–53.4 µg/m³) had 13% more wheezing days (IRR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.03–1.23), and those exposed to higher PM2.5 (>53.4 µg/m³) had on average 62% more wheezing days (IRR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.42–1.86) compared with the low exposure group (≤35.3 µg/m³). The presence of moulds in the household (IRR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.03–1.24), parity (IRR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.10–1.28), and maternal atopy (IRR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.28–1.63) were also significantly associated with the number of wheezing days. Children only exposed to higher PM2.5 (>53.4 µg/m³) had significantly more days with difficult breathing (IRR = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.34–1.78). Since that prenatal exposure to fine particles increases burden of respiratory symptoms among infants and young children the current PM2.5 health air quality guidelines may be too high to protect the sensitive subgroups of population.

Keywords: respiratory symptoms; early childhood; prenatal exposure; perinatal exposure; fine particles; indoor air quality; cohort study; early years; postnatal exposure; infants; young children; child health; wheezing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2008.020925

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2008 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.314 - 329

Available online: 24 Oct 2008 *

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