TitleTraffic-related air pollution and asthma onset in children: a prospective cohort study with individual exposure measurement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJerrett, M, Shankardass, K, Berhane, K, W Gauderman, J, Künzli, N, Avol, E, Gilliland, F, Lurmann, F, Molitor, JN, Molitor, J, Thomas, DC, Peters, J, McConnell, R
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Date Published2008 Oct
KeywordsVehicle Emissions

BACKGROUND: The question of whether air pollution contributes to asthma onset remains unresolved. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we assessed the association between asthma onset in children and traffic-related air pollution. METHODS: We selected a sample of 217 children from participants in the Southern California Children's Health Study, a prospective cohort designed to investigate associations between air pollution and respiratory health in children 10-18 years of age. Individual covariates and new asthma incidence (30 cases) were reported annually through questionnaires during 8 years of follow-up. Children had nitrogen dioxide monitors placed outside their home for 2 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks in the fall-winter season as a marker of traffic-related air pollution. We used multilevel Cox models to test the associations between asthma and air pollution. RESULTS: In models controlling for confounders, incident asthma was positively associated with traffic pollution, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.29 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07-1.56] across the average within-community interquartile range of 6.2 ppb in annual residential NO2. Using the total interquartile range for all measurements of 28.9 ppb increased the HR to 3.25 (95% CI, 1.35-7.85). CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, markers of traffic-related air pollution were associated with the onset of asthma. The risks observed suggest that air pollution exposure contributes to new-onset asthma.