The modifying effect of socioeconomic status on the relationship between traffic, air pollution and respiratory health in elementary schoolchildren

Sabit Cakmak, Christopher Hebbern, Jasmine D. Cakmak, Jennifer Vanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The volume and type of traffic and exposure to air pollution have been found to be associated with respiratory health, but few studies have considered the interaction with socioeconomic status at the household level. We investigated the relationships of respiratory health related to traffic type, traffic volume, and air pollution, stratifying by socioeconomic status, based on household income and education, in 3591 schoolchildren in Windsor, Canada. Interquartile range changes in traffic exposure and pollutant levels were linked to respiratory symptoms and objective measures of lung function using generalised linear models for three levels of income and education. In 95% of the relationships among all cases, the odds ratios for reported respiratory symptoms (a decrease in measured lung function), based on an interquartile range change in traffic exposure or pollutant, were greater in the lower income/education groups than the higher, although the odds ratios were in most cases not significant. However, in up to 62% of the cases, the differences between high and low socioeconomic groups were statistically significant, thus indicating socioeconomic status (SES) as a significant effect modifier. Our findings indicate that children from lower socioeconomic households have a higher risk of specific respiratory health problems (chest congestion, wheezing) due to traffic volume and air pollution exposure. We identify that socioeconomic status measured by parental income and education level is a significant effect modifier of the relationship between traffic volume and air pollution on respiratory health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume177
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Children
  • Effect modifier
  • Epidemiologic
  • Lung function
  • Respiratory health
  • Socioeconomics
  • Traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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