Traffic-related air pollution is associated with glucose dysregulation, blood pressure, and oxidative stress in children

Jennifer K. Mann, Liza Lutzker, Stephanie M. Holm, Helene G. Margolis, Andreas M. Neophytou, Ellen A. Eisen, Sadie Costello, Tim Tyner, Nina Holland, Gwen Tindula, Mary Prunicki, Kari Nadeau, Elizabeth M. Noth, Fred Lurmann, S. Katharine Hammond, John R. Balmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. Antecedents likely begin in childhood and whether childhood exposure to air pollution plays a contributory role is not well understood. Objectives: To assess whether children's exposure to air pollution is associated with markers of risk for metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress, a hypothesized mediator of air pollution-related health effects. Methods: We studied 299 children (ages 6–8) living in the Fresno, CA area. At a study center visit, questionnaire and biomarker data were collected. Outcomes included hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), urinary 8-isoprostane, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and BMI. Individual-level exposure estimates for a set of four pollutants that are constituents of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) – the sum of 4-, 5-, and 6-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAH456), NO2, elemental carbon, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) – were modeled at the primary residential location for 1-day lag, and 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year averages prior to each participant's visit date. Generalized additive models were used to estimate associations between each air pollutant exposure and outcome. Results: The study population was 53% male, 80% Latinx, 11% Black and largely low-income (6% were White and 3% were Asian/Pacific Islander). HbA1c percentage was associated with longer-term increases in TRAP; for example a 4.42 ng/m3 increase in 6-month average PAH456 was associated with a 0.07% increase (95% CI: 0.01, 0.14) and a 3.62 μg/m3 increase in 6-month average PM2.5 was associated with a 0.06% increase (95% CI: 0.01, 0.10). The influence of air pollutants on blood pressure was strongest at 3 months; for example, a 6.2 ppb increase in 3-month average NO2 was associated with a 9.4 mmHg increase in SBP (95% CI: 2.8, 15.9). TRAP concentrations were not significantly associated with anthropometric or adipokine measures. Short-term TRAP exposure averages were significantly associated with creatinine-adjusted urinary 8-isoprostane. Discussion: Our results suggest that both short- and longer-term estimated individual-level outdoor residential exposures to several traffic-related air pollutants, including ambient PAHs, are associated with biomarkers of risk for metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110870
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume195
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Children
  • HbA1c
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Traffic-related air pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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