In a recent article, published in the Journal of Inflammation Research, investigators examined whether pre- or postnatal exposure to ambient air pollutants is related to the development of asthma in infants with neonatal jaundice. According to the lead author, Hao-Wei Chung, pre- and postnatal exposure to SO2, PM2.5, PM10, NO, NO2, and NOX in different time windows was associated with the development of preschool asthma in these infants.
This study was a retrospective nested case-control analysis of records of infants with neonatal jaundice from the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital Research Database. Ambient air pollution concentrations were collected for the first, second, and third prenatal trimesters, and within six months, the first year, and the second year after birth. Neonatal jaundice was classified as total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels ≥2 mg/dl with the diagnosis less than one-month-old.
Air Pollution and Asthma Development in Neonatal Jaundice
Reportedly, exposure to NO and SO2 was significantly associated with an increased risk for preschool asthma at all six time windows assessed in infants with neonatal jaundice. The overall peak odds ratio (OR) of SO2, PM2.5, PM10, NO, NO2, and NOX were 1.277 (95% CI, 1.129-1.444), 1.057 (95% CI, 1.023-1.092), 1.035 (95% CI, 1.011-1.059), 1.272 (95% CI, 1.111-1.455), 1.168 (95% CI, 1.083-1.259) and 1.104 (95% CI, 1.051-1.161), respectively. Additionally, the researchers noted that fetuses in the first and second trimester were the most vulnerable to prenatal ambient air pollutant exposures, including SO2 PM2.5, NO, NO2 and NOX.
Overall, the researchers concluded that “exposure to all six ambient air pollutants during the first and second years after birth significantly affected preschool asthma in neonatal jaundice infants.”