Giving Compass' Take:
- A Stanford-led study indicates that children exposed to air pollution may be at higher risk of contracting cardiovascular disease and other ailments as adults.
- How can this research help inform public health measures on air pollution and donor investment?
- Learn why we need to do more to address air pollution.
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Children exposed to air pollution, such as wildfire smoke and car exhaust, for as little as one day may be doomed to higher rates of heart disease and other ailments in adulthood, according to a new Stanford-led study.
The analysis, published in Nature Scientific Reports, is the first of its kind to investigate air pollution’s effects at the single cell level and to simultaneously focus on both the cardiovascular and immune systems in children.
The research confirms previous research that bad air can alter gene regulation in a way that may affect long-term health—a finding that could change the way medical experts and parents think about the air children breathe, and inform clinical interventions for those exposed to chronic elevated air pollution.
“I think this is compelling enough for a pediatrician to say that we have evidence air pollution causes changes in the immune and cardiovascular system associated not only with asthma and respiratory diseases, as has been shown before,” says lead author Mary Prunicki, director of air pollution and health research at Stanford University’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research.
“This is everyone’s problem,” says study senior author Kari Nadeau, director of the Parker Center. “Nearly half of Americans and the vast majority of people around the world live in places with unhealthy air. Understanding and mitigating the impacts could save a lot of lives.”
Read the full article about air pollution impacts kids by Rob Jordan at Futurity.