Asthma incidence in children growing up close to traffic: a registry-based birth cohort

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Background: Recent reviews conclude an association between traffic-related pollution and incidence of asthma in children, but not all studies agree. Studies have almost exclusively relied on parental-reported symptoms or parental-reported diagnoses of asthma and wheeze. Our aim was to investigate if traffic exposure is associated with higher incidence of early onset asthma, using registry-based outcome data. Methods: We investigated a birth cohort in southern Sweden, consisting of N = 26 128 children with outcome and exposure data (born July 2005-2010). Of these children, N = 7898 had additional covariate information. The cohort was followed to the end of 2011. Traffic intensity, and dispersion-modeled concentrations of NOX (100x100 m grid), at residential addresses, were linked with registry data on dispensed asthma medication (the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register), and hospital and primary health care diagnoses of bronchiolitis, obstructive bronchitis and asthma (The Scania Health Care Register). Covariate information was obtained from questionnaires distributed to parents at Child Health Care-centre visits, eight months after birth. Cox proportional hazards regression was used for the statistical analyses. Results: Living in close proximity to a road with >= 8640 cars/day (compared to 0-8640 cars/day), was not associated with higher incidence of first purchase of inhaled beta(2)-agonist (adjusted hazard ratio (adj.HR) = 0.9, 95% CI: 0.8-1.0); third year purchase of inhaled beta(2)-agonist (adj.HR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9); bronchiolitis (adj.HR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9), obstructive bronchitis (adj.HR = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.9-1.2), or asthma (adj.HR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9). Similar results were found for inhaled corticosteroids, and in relation to NOX. Conclusions: Traffic-related exposure was not associated with higher incidence of asthma medication, or diagnoses of asthma, bronchiolitis, or obstructive bronchitis, in children 0-6 years in southern Sweden. This may depend on the low levels of traffic pollution in the area, mainly well below the WHO-guideline for NO2.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin


TidskriftEnvironmental Health
StatusPublished - 2013
Peer review utfördJa


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