Childhood Exposure to Air Pollution as a Potential Contributor of Chronic Non-Respiratory Inflammatory Disorders: A Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study in Hamilton, Canada


This study examines the relationship between childhood exposure to air pollution and diagnosis with chronic non-respiratory health outcomes in adulthood. This prospective cohort study uses data collected in the 1970/1980s from 395 children, including exposure to air pollution. Over thirty years later, a survey collected data on various health outcomes, including diagnosis with arthritis, high blood pressure, long-term skin conditions, and hay fever allergies. Logistic regression modeling was performed to examine the relative contribution of childhood exposure to air pollution on chronic non-respiratory health outcomes in adulthood. Childhood exposure to SO2 emerged as a significant predictor of arthritis (OR = 2.73, 95% CI 1.20 - 6.18) and high blood pressure (OR = 2.82, 95% CI 1.23 - 6.47). Other significant predictors include respiratory symptoms during childhood, family income during childhood and adulthood, property tenure, employment status, residential exposures, life events, physical activity, and body mass index. Childhood exposure to air pollution did not emerge as a significant predictor of long-term skin conditions or hay fever allergies. Findings contribute to the debate on the health effects of air pollution, indicating that the health impacts of childhood exposure to air pollution may include chronic inflammatory disorders in adulthood.

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C. Barakat-Haddad, S. Elliott and D. Pengelly, "Childhood Exposure to Air Pollution as a Potential Contributor of Chronic Non-Respiratory Inflammatory Disorders: A Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study in Hamilton, Canada," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 779-788. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.48091.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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