Variations in peak expiratory flow measurements associated to air pollution and allergic sensitization in children in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Authors

  • Joya Emilie de M. Correia-Deur MD, MPH, DSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    • Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo - Av. Dr. Arnaldo 455, 01246-903 - Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.
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  • Luz Claudio PhD,

    1. Preventive Medicine Department, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
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  • Alice Takimoto Imazawa MSc,

    1. Departamento de Endocrinologia e Metabologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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  • Jose Eluf-Neto MD, PhD

    1. Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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  • Conflicts of interest: None

Abstract

Background

In the last 20 years, there has been an increase in the incidence of allergic respiratory diseases worldwide and exposure to air pollution has been discussed as one of the factors associated with this increase. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of air pollution on peak expiratory flow (PEF) and FEV1 in children with and without allergic sensitization.

Methods

Ninety-six children were followed from April to July, 2004 with spirometry measurements. They were tested for allergic sensitization (IgE, skin prick test, eosinophilia) and asked about allergic symptoms. Air pollution, temperature, and relative humidity data were available.

Results

Decrements in PEF were observed with previous 24-hr average exposure to air pollution, as well as with 3–10-day average exposure and were associated mainly with PM10, NO2, and O3 in all three categories of allergic sensitization. Even though allergic sensitized children tended to present larger decrements in the PEF measurements they were not statistically different from the non-allergic sensitized. Decrements in FEV1 were observed mainly with previous 24-hr average exposure and 3-day moving average.

Conclusions

Decrements in PEF associated with air pollution were observed in children independent from their allergic sensitization status. Their daily exposure to air pollution can be responsible for a chronic inflammatory process that might impair their lung growth and later their lung function in adulthood. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1087–1098, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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