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Open AccessArticle

Early-Life Air Pollution Exposure, Neighborhood Poverty, and Childhood Asthma in the United States, 1990–2014

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA
2
School of Social Work, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
4
Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061114
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Achieving Environmental Health Equity: Great Expectations)
Ambient air pollution is a well-known risk factor of various asthma-related outcomes, however, past research has often focused on acute exacerbations rather than asthma development. This study draws on a population-based, multigenerational panel dataset from the United States to assess the association of childhood asthma risk with census block-level, annual-average air pollution exposure measured during the prenatal and early postnatal periods, as well as effect modification by neighborhood poverty. Findings suggest that early-life exposures to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a marker of traffic-related pollution, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a mixture of industrial and other pollutants, are positively associated with subsequent childhood asthma diagnosis (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.10–1.41 and OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.06–1.46, respectively, per interquartile range (IQR) increase in each pollutant (NO2 IQR = 8.51 ppb and PM2.5 IQR = 4.43 µ/m3)). These effects are modified by early-life neighborhood poverty exposure, with no or weaker effects in moderate- and low- (versus high-) poverty areas. This work underscores the importance of a holistic, developmental approach to elucidating the interplay of social and environmental contexts that may create conditions for racial-ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in childhood asthma risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: asthma; children; prenatal; postnatal; early-life; air pollution; nitrogen dioxide; particulate matter; neighborhood poverty asthma; children; prenatal; postnatal; early-life; air pollution; nitrogen dioxide; particulate matter; neighborhood poverty
MDPI and ACS Style

Kravitz-Wirtz, N.; Teixeira, S.; Hajat, A.; Woo, B.; Crowder, K.; Takeuchi, D. Early-Life Air Pollution Exposure, Neighborhood Poverty, and Childhood Asthma in the United States, 1990–2014. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1114.

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