Associations between Traffic-Related Black Carbon Exposure and Attention in a Prospective Birth Cohort of Urban Children

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Associations between Traffic-Related Black Carbon Exposure and Attention in a Prospective Birth Cohort of Urban Children

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Title: Associations between Traffic-Related Black Carbon Exposure and Attention in a Prospective Birth Cohort of Urban Children
Author: Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda; Bellinger, David C.; Coull, Brent A.; Anderson, Shawn; Barber, Rachel; Wright, Robert O.; Wright, Rosalind J.

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Citation: Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda, David C. Bellinger, Brent A. Coull, Shawn Anderson, Rachel Barber, Robert O. Wright, and Rosalind J. Wright. 2013. “Associations between Traffic-Related Black Carbon Exposure and Attention in a Prospective Birth Cohort of Urban Children.” Environmental Health Perspectives 121 (7): 859-864. doi:10.1289/ehp.1205940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205940.
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Abstract: Background: Ambient air pollution may have neurotoxic effects in children. Data examining associations between traffic-related air pollution and attention domains remain sparse. Objectives: We examined associations between black carbon (BC), a marker of traffic particles, and attention measures ascertained at 7–14 years of age among 174 children in a birth cohort based in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Methods: We estimated BC levels using a validated spatial–temporal land-use regression model based on residence during children’s lifetime. Children completed the Conner’s Continuous Performance Test (CPT) measuring omission errors, commission errors, and hit reaction time (HRT), with higher scores indicating increased errors or slower reaction time. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses were used to examine associations between BC and each attention outcome. Results: Children were primarily Hispanic (56%) and Caucasian (41%); 53% were boys. We found a positive association between higher BC levels with increased commission errors and slower HRT, adjusting for child IQ, age, sex, blood lead level, maternal education, pre- and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure, and community-level social stress. Notably, the association was weaker, though still positive, for the highest BC quartile relative to the middle two quartiles. Sex-stratified analysis demonstrated statistically significant associations between BC and both commission errors and HRT in boys, but BC was not significantly associated with any of the CPT outcomes in girls. Conclusions: In this population of urban children, we found associations between BC exposure and higher commission errors and slower reaction time. These associations were overall more apparent in boys than girls.
Published Version: doi:10.1289/ehp.1205940
Other Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3701996/pdf/
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11717546
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