Distinguished Professor, School of Energy Science and Engineering / XiangYa School of Public Health Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
Title: Prenatal exposure and childhood eczema
Qihong Deng Distinguished Professor, Central South University .
Background. Evidence linking prenatal exposure to outdoor air pollution with eczema in early childhood is scare, and the role of components of air pollution and exposure timing remains unclear.
Objectives. We investigated the association between exposure to air pollution during preconceptional and perinatal period and the risk of eczema in preschool children.
Methods. We conducted a prospective cohort study of 2598 children aged 3–6 years in Changsha, China. The prevalence of eczema was assessed by a standardized health questionnaire administered by the parents. Individual exposures to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) during the 4th-6th and 1st-3rd month before pregnancy, entire pregnancy, and three trimesters were estimated by an inverse distance weighted (IDW) method based on concentrations measured at monitoring stations. Association between childhood eczema and exposure to air pollution was examined by logistic regression models in terms of odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for an interquartile range (IQR) increase in exposure.
Results. Life-time prevalence of eczema in preschool children in Changsha was 28.6%. Childhood eczema was associated with traffic-related air pollutant NO2 during 3 months before pregnancy and entire pregnancy with adjusted ORs = 1.19 (95% CI: 1.04–1.37) and 1.21 (95% CI: 1.03–1.42) respectively. The highest risk of eczema was observed for the 1st trimester exposure to NO2 [OR = 1.26 (95% CI: 1.09–1.46)]. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the association between both preconceptional and perinatal exposure to NO2 and childhood eczema was consistent and robust.
Conclusion. Our findings support the hypothesis that early childhood eczema is associated with exposure to traffic-related air pollutant during both preconceptional and perinatal period.