Declining pollution levels linked to improvements in child lung function
A new study has found a statistical association between improvements in air quality and lung function growth in children.
The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, measured lung function annually in 2,120 children in southern California, where air quality control policies have been gradually implemented over the past few years.
The researchers used linear regression models to examine the relationship between decreasing pollution levels and lung-function development between the ages of 11 and 15 using spirometry.
Significant clinical improvements in lung function development were observed in both boys and girls in children with and without asthma. As the air quality improved, the percentage of 15 year olds with clinically low lung function declined from 7.9% to 3.6%.
The authors conclude that causality could be assumed from these results and the positive effects seen to human health support measures that reduce air pollution.
Read the full research paper
Find out more about the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of clean air.
Association of Improved Air Quality with Lung Development in Children (pdf)
The New England Journal of Medicine
ERS - European Respiratory Society 05-03-2015