Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction is associated with air humidity and particulate matter concentration in preschool children

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Abstract

Background: Long-term exposure to air pollution is connected to asthma morbidity in children. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is common in asthma, and the free running test outdoors is an important method for diagnosing asthma in children. It is not known whether momentary air pollution exposure affects the results of outdoor exercise tests in children. Methods: We analyzed all reliable exercise challenge tests with impulse oscillometry in children (n = 868) performed between January 2012 and April 2015 at Tampere University Hospital. Pollutant concentrations (PM2.5, NO2, and O3) at the time of the exercise test were collected from public registers. We compared the pollutant concentrations with the proportion and severity of EIB and adjusted the analyses for air humidity and pollen counts. Results: Pollution levels were rarely high (median PM2.5 6.0 µg/m3, NO2 12.0 µg/m3, and O3 47.0 µg/m3). The relative change in resistance at 5 Hz after exercise did not correlate with O3, NO2 or PM2.5 concentrations (p values 0.065−0.884). In multivariate logistic regression, we compared the effects of PM2.5 over 10 µg/m³, absolute humidity (AH) over 10 g/m³ and alder or birch pollen concentration over 10 grains/m³. High (over 10 g/m3) AH was associated with decreased incidence (OR 0.31, p value 0.004), and PM2.5 over 10 µg/m³ was associated with increased incidence (OR 1.69, p value 0.036) of EIB. Conclusions: Even low PM2.5 levels may have an effect on EIB in children. Of the other properties of air, only AH was associated with the incidence of EIB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1003
Number of pages8
JournalPEDIATRIC PULMONOLOGY
Volume58
Issue number4
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • air quality
  • asthma
  • exercise test
  • exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
  • impulse oscillometry
  • particulate matter
  • pulmonary Function Tests

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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