Environmental Health Perspectives publishes findings on air pollution and high blood pressure in children

May 1, 2021

Environmental Health Perspectives published findings from an ECHO PATHWAYS investigators’ study that found that children exposed to air pollution before birth—even at levels considered acceptable under regulatory standards—are more likely to have increased blood pressure in early childhood and potentially greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as adults. Data from the ECHO PATHWAYS cohort CANDLE study were used; 822 mother-child pairs were part of the CANDLE study from pregnancy through ages 4 to 6. The investigators measured the associations of air pollution exposures (PM2.5 and NO2) in both pre- and postnatal windows with child blood pressure. The findings also suggest that adequate levels of maternal folate, or folic acid, during pregnancy may protect children from the harmful cardiovascular effects of air pollution. ECHO PATHWAYS investigator Dr. Yu Ni was first author and mPI Dr. Catherine Karr was last author.