Toronto: Babies born to mothers exposed to air pollution from traffic sources during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing asthma before the age of five, finds a new study.
Exposure to air pollution from traffic sources during pregnancy increases the risk of developing asthma during the first five years of life, even in urban areas with relatively low levels of pollution, the findings revealed.
Also, children whose mothers lived close to highways during pregnancy had a 25 percent increased relative risk of developing asthma, the study said.
The risk increased with an increase in levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide: two markers of traffic-related air pollution, the researchers said.
The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, looks at the role of variation in air pollution in urban areas and the development of asthma, the researchers said.
Over 65,000 Canadian children were included in the study and followed up from birth until the age of 10 years.
The researchers monitored physician-diagnosed asthma cases among this group and also assessed exposure of mothers to air pollutants during pregnancy. Each mother’s postcode was used and exposure level was determined using measures that focused mainly on traffic-related pollutants, including black carbon, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and nitric oxide.
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