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Prenatal exposure to pollution especially dangerous for children with asthma
Date:5/20/2012

ATS 2012, SAN FRANCISCO The link between prenatal exposure to air pollution and childhood lung growth and respiratory ailments has been established by several studies in recent years, and now a new study suggests that these prenatal exposures can be especially serious for children with asthma.

The study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

"In this study, we found that prenatal exposures to airborne particles and the pollutant nitrogen dioxide adversely affect pulmonary function growth among asthmatic children between 6 and 15 years of age," said study lead author Amy Padula, PhD, post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. "This analysis adds to the evidence that maternal exposure to ambient air pollutants can have persistent effects on lung function development in children with asthma."

The study was conducted as part of the Fresno Asthmatic Children's Environment Study (FACES) Lifetime Exposure initiative, which examines the influence of prenatal exposure to a number of ambient air pollutants on the growth of lung function during childhood and teen years in a high pollution area.

For this analysis, the researchers included repeated evaluations of 162 asthmatic children between the ages of 6 and 15 and their mothers. To determine prenatal exposure levels to pollution, the mothers' residences during pregnancy were geocoded and pollutant concentrations were obtained from the Aerometric Information Retrieval System supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).Monthly average pollutant concentrations were assigned from 24-hour averages obtained at a central site monitor and summaries of the entire pregnancy and each trimester were calculated. The researchers looked at several pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter.

To calculate lung function growth, which is determined primarily by changes in lung capaci
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Contact: Nathaniel Dunford
ndunford@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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