Background Evidence on the long-term effects of air pollution exposure on childhood allergy is limited. Objective We investigated the association between air pollution exposure and allergic sensitization to common allergens in children followed prospectively during the first 10 years of life. Methods Five European birth cohorts participating in the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects project were included: BAMSE (Sweden), LISAplus and GINIplus (Germany), MAAS (Great Britain), and PIAMA (The Netherlands). Land-use regression models were applied to assess the individual residential outdoor levels of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), the mass concentration of particles between 2.5 and 10 μm in size, and levels of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 μm (PM10), as well as measurement of the blackness of PM2.5 filters and nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels. Blood samples drawn at 4 to 6 years of age, 8 to 10 years of age, or both from more than 6500 children were analyzed for allergen-specific serum IgE against common allergens. Associations were assessed by using multiple logistic regression and subsequent meta-analysis. Results The prevalence of sensitization to any common allergen within the 5 cohorts ranged between 24.1% and 40.4% at the age of 4 to 6 years and between 34.8% and 47.9% at the age of 8 to 10 years. Overall, air pollution exposure was not associated with sensitization to any common allergen, with odds ratios ranging from 0.94 (95% CI, 0.63-1.40) for a 1 × 10 -5 â̂™ m-1 increase in measurement of the blackness of PM2.5 filters to 1.26 (95% CI, 0.90-1.77) for a 5 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure at birth address. Further analyses did not provide consistent evidence for a modification of the air pollution effects by sex, family history of atopy, or moving status. Conclusion No clear associations between air pollution exposure and development of allergic sensitization in children up to 10 years of age were revealed.

Air pollution, children, cohort, European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects, IgE, meta-analysis, sensitization
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2013.07.048, hdl.handle.net/1765/65333
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/211250 - European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gruzieva, O, Gehring, U, Aalberse, R.C, Agius, R.M, Beelen, R.M.J, Behrendt, M.D, … Pershagen, G. (2014). Meta-analysis of air pollution exposure association with allergic sensitization in European birth cohorts. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 133(3). doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.07.048