Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology
Air pollution induces systemic inflammation, as well as respiratory, myocardial and brain inflammation in children. Peak bone mass is influenced by environmental factors. We tested the hypothesis that six-year-olds with lifetime exposures to urban air pollution will have alterations in inflammatory markers and bone mineral density (BMD) as opposed to low-polluted city residents when matched for BMI, breast feeding history, skin phototype, age, sex and socioeconomic status. This pilot study included 20 children from Mexico City (MC) (6.17 years ± 0.63 years) and 15 controls (6.27 years ± 0.76 years). We performed full paediatric examinations, a history of outdoor exposures, seven-day dietary recalls, serum inflammatory markers and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Children in MC had significantly higher concentrations of IL-6 (p=0.001), marked reductions in total blood neutrophils (p= 0.0002) and an increase in monocytes (p=0.005). MC children also had an insufficient Vitamin D intake and spent less time outdoors than controls (p<0.001) in an environment characterized by decreased UV light, with ozone and fine particulates concentrations above standard values. There were no significant differences between the cohorts in DXA Z scores. The impact of systemic inflammation, vitamin D insufficiency, air pollution, urban violence and poverty may have long-term bone detrimental outcomes in exposed paediatric populations as they grow older, increasing the risk of low bone mass and osteoporosis. The selection of reference populations for DXA must take into account air pollution exposures.
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