Associations between early-life exposure to PM2.5and reductions in childhood lung function in two North American longitudinal pregnancy cohort studies

Maria José Rosa, Hector Lamadrid-Figueroa, Cecilia Alcala, Elena Colicino, Marcela Tamayo-Ortiz, Adriana Mercado-Garcia, Itai Kloog, Allan C. Just, Douglas Bush, Kecia N. Carroll, Martha María Téllez-Rojo, Robert O. Wright, Chris Gennings, Rosalind J. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Data integration of epidemiologic studies across different geographic regions can provide enhanced exposure contrast and statistical power to examine adverse respiratory effects of early-life exposure to particulate matter <2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). Methodological tools improve our ability to combine data while more fully accounting for study heterogeneity. Methods: Analyses included children enrolled in two longitudinal birth cohorts in Boston, Massachusetts, and Mexico City. Propensity score matching using the 1:3 nearest neighbor with caliper method was used. Residential PM2.5exposure was estimated from 2 months before birth to age 6 years using a validated satellite-based spatiotemporal model. Lung function was tested at ages 6-11 years and age, height, race, and sex adjusted z scores were estimated for FEV1, FVC, FEF25-75%, and FEV1/FVC. Using distributed lag nonlinear models, we examined associations between monthly averaged PM2.5levels and lung function outcomes adjusted for covariates, in unmatched and matched pooled samples. Results: In the matched pooled sample, PM2.5exposure between postnatal months 35-44 and 35-52 was associated with lower FEV1and FVC z scores, respectively. A 5 µg/m3increase in PM2.5was associated with a reduction in FEV1z score of 0.13 (95% CI = -0.26, -0.01) and a reduction in FVC z score of 0.13 (95% CI = -0.25, -0.01). Additionally PM2.5during postnatal months 23-39 was associated with a reduction in FEF25-75%z score of 0.31 (95% CI = -0.57, -0.05). Conclusions: Methodological tools enhanced our ability to combine multisite data while accounting for study heterogeneity. Ambient PM2.5exposure in early childhood was associated with lung function reductions in middle childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E234
JournalEnvironmental Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Epidemiology
  • Global and Planetary Change


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