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Long-Term Exposure to Primary Traffic Pollutants and Lung Function in Children: Cross-Sectional Study and Meta-Analysis.

Barone-Adesi, F; Dent, JE; Dajnak, D; Beevers, S; Anderson, HR; Kelly, FJ; Cook, DG; Whincup, PH (2015) Long-Term Exposure to Primary Traffic Pollutants and Lung Function in Children: Cross-Sectional Study and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One, 10 (11). e0142565. ISSN 1932-6203
SGUL Authors: Anderson, Hugh Ross Cook, Derek Gordon Whincup, Peter Hynes

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BACKGROUND: There is widespread concern about the possible health effects of traffic-related air pollution. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a convenient marker of primary pollution. We investigated the associations between lung function and current residential exposure to a range of air pollutants (particularly NO2, NO, NOx and particulate matter) in London children. Moreover, we placed the results for NO2 in context with a meta-analysis of published estimates of the association. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Associations between primary traffic pollutants and lung function were investigated in 4884 children aged 9-10 years who participated in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE). A systematic literature search identified 13 studies eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis. We combined results from the meta-analysis with the distribution of the values of FEV1 in CHASE to estimate the prevalence of children with abnormal lung function (FEV1<80% of predicted value) expected under different scenarios of NO2 exposure. In CHASE, there were non-significant inverse associations between all pollutants except ozone and both FEV1 and FVC. In the meta-analysis, a 10 μg/m3 increase in NO2 was associated with an 8 ml lower FEV1 (95% CI: -14 to -1 ml; p: 0.016). The observed effect was not modified by a reported asthma diagnosis. On the basis of these results, a 10 μg/m3 increase in NO2 level would translate into a 7% (95% CI: 4% to 12%) increase of the prevalence of children with abnormal lung function. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to traffic pollution may cause a small overall reduction in lung function and increase the prevalence of children with clinically relevant declines in lung function.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 Barone-Adesi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Keywords: Air Pollution, Asthma, Child, Female, Humans, Inhalation Exposure, Male, Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter, Pulmonary Ventilation, Vehicle Emissions, Humans, Asthma, Nitrogen Dioxide, Pulmonary Ventilation, Air Pollution, Vehicle Emissions, Inhalation Exposure, Child, Female, Male, Particulate Matter, General Science & Technology, MD Multidisciplinary
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Population Health Research Institute (INPH)
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
Language: eng
30 November 2015Published
25 October 2015Accepted
Publisher License: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Project IDFunderFunder ID
MR/L01341X/1Medical Research Council
068362/Z/02/ZWellcome Trust
NE/I008039/1Department of Health
NE/I008039/1Medical Research Council
NE/I008039/1Natural Environment Research Council
PubMed ID: 26619227
Web of Science ID: WOS:000365889800014
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