FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Prenatal and postnatal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with the development of allergic rhinitis in children, according to a study published online March 11 in Thorax.

Yu-Ting Lin, M.D., Ph.D., from China Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues used a large population-based birth cohort of 140,911 singleton live infants to examine the effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to PM2.5 on the onset of allergic rhinitis.

The researchers found that 33.55 percent of the children were identified as cases of incident allergic rhinitis. Children with allergic rhinitis had a mean age of 2.97 ± 1.78 years at initial diagnosis. A significant association was seen between allergic rhinitis and an interquartile range (17.98 µg/m3) increase in PM2.5 during the period from 30 gestational weeks to 52 weeks after birth. Associations were seen between allergic rhinitis and a PM2.5 ranging from 26 to 76 µg/m3 in the exposure-response relationship (adjusted hazard ratios ranged from 1.00 to 1.05 per 1 µg/m³ increase).

“Further studies are required to confirm the association between prenatal and postnatal exposures to PM2.5 and allergic rhinitis incidence and to verify the vulnerable time window,” the authors write.

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