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Traffic-related air pollution exposure is associated with allergic sensitization, asthma, and poor lung function in middle age


Bowatte, G and Lodge, CJ and Knibbs, LD and Lowe, AJ and Erbas, B and Dennekamp, M and Marks, GB and Giles, G and Morrison, S and Thompson, B and Thomas, PS and Hui, J and Perret, JL and Abramson, MJ and Walters, H and Matheson, MC and Dharmage, SC, Traffic-related air pollution exposure is associated with allergic sensitization, asthma, and poor lung function in middle age, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 139, (1) pp. 122-129. ISSN 0091-6749 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2016.05.008


Background: Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) exposure is associated with allergic airway diseases and reduced lung function in children, but evidence concerning adults, especially in low-pollution settings, is scarce and inconsistent.

Objectives: We sought to determine whether exposure to TRAP in middle age is associated with allergic sensitization, current asthma, and reduced lung function in adults, and whether these associations are modified by variants in Glutathione S-Transferase genes.

Methods: The study sample comprised the proband 2002 laboratory study of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study. Mean annual residential nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure was estimated for current residential addresses using a validated land-use regression model. Associations between TRAP exposure and allergic sensitization, lung function, current wheeze, and asthma (n = 1405) were investigated using regression models.

Results: Increased mean annual NO2 exposure was associated with increased risk of atopy (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02-1.28 per 1 interquartile range increase in NO2 [2.2 ppb]) and current wheeze (aOR, 1.14; 1.02-1.28). Similarly, living less than 200 m from a major road was associated with current wheeze (aOR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06-1.80) and atopy (aOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 0.99-1.62), and was also associated with having significantly lower prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator FEV1 and prebronchodilator forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% of forced vital capacity. We found evidence of interactions between living less than 200 m from a major road and GSTT1 polymorphism for atopy, asthma, and atopic asthma. Overall, carriers of the GSTT1 null genotype had an increased risk of asthma and allergic outcomes if exposed to TRAP.

Conclusions: Even relatively low TRAP exposures confer an increased risk of adverse respiratory and allergic outcomes in genetically susceptible individuals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:air pollution, allergic sensitization, asthma, glutathione S-transferase genes respiratory function
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Research Field:Respiratory Diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Objective Field:Respiratory System and Diseases (incl. Asthma)
UTAS Author:Walters, H (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:110755
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2016-08-11
Last Modified:2018-03-07

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