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Author Notes:

Address correspondence to: Verónica Vieira, D.Sc., Program in Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 653 E. Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697-3957, USA, vvierira@uci.edu

Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIH.

All authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Conflict of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by grant number R01ES019897 from the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS).

This work was partially supported by NASA Applied Sciences Program (grant no. NNX11AI53G to Y.L and X.H).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Otitis media
  • Infant bronchiolitis
  • Particulate matter
  • Traffic related pollution
  • Chronic exposure

Chronic PM2.5 exposure and risk of infant bronchiolitis and otitis media clinical encounters


Journal Title:

International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health


Volume 220, Number 6


, Pages 1055-1063

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Chronic particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) exposure can leave infants more susceptible to illness. Our objective is to estimate associations of the chronic PM2.5exposure with infant bronchiolitis and otitis media (OM) clinical encounters. We obtained all first time bronchiolitis (n = 18,029) and OM (n = 40,042) clinical encounters among children less than 12 and 36 months of age, respectively, diagnosed from 2001 to 2009 and two controls per case matched on birthdate and gestational age from the Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal data linkage system in Massachusetts. We applied conditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) per 2-μg/m3increase in lifetime average satellite based PM2.5exposure.Effect modification was assessed by age, gestational age, frequency of clinical encounter, and income. We examined associations between residential distance to roadways, traffic density, and infant bronchiolitis and OM risk. PM2.5was not associated with infant bronchiolitis (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 1.00, 1.04) and inversely associated with OM (OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.95, 0.99). There was no evidence of effect modification. Compared to infants living near low traffic density, infants residing in high traffic density had elevated risk of bronchiolitis (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.14, 1.31) but not OM (OR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.93, 1.02) clinical encounter. We did not find strong evidence to support an association between early-life long-term PM2.5exposure and infant bronchiolitis or OM. Bronchiolitis risk was increased among infants living near high traffic density.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Elsevier GmbH

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