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Original research
Effect of exposure to fine particulate matter during pregnancy and infancy on paediatric allergic rhinitis
  1. Yu-Ting Lin1,
  2. Hao Shih2,
  3. Chau-Ren Jung3,4,
  4. Chi-Min Wang5,
  5. Ya-Chu Chang5,
  6. Chia-Yun Hsieh5,
  7. Bing-Fang Hwang5,6
  1. 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Dentistry, Division of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  4. 4Japan Environment and Children’s Study Programme Office, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  5. 5Department of Occupational Safety and Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  6. 6Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medical and Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Bing-Fang Hwang, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, China Medical University, Taichung 406040, Taiwan; bfhwang{at}


Background The effect of prenatal and postnatal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on the development of allergic rhinitis (AR) is poorly understood. We further identified the vulnerable period for AR development to determine methods to decrease adverse effects.

Methods We used a large population-based birth cohort of 140 911 singleton live infants in Taichung, Taiwan with a highly temporal-resolution satellite-based hybrid model to evaluate the effects of prenatal and early postnatal exposure on the onset of AR.

Results Among 140 911 children, 47 276 (33.55%) were cases of incident AR. The mean age of the children with AR at initial diagnosis was 2.97±1.78 years. We identified a significant association of AR with an interquartile range (IQR 17.98 µg/m3) increase in PM2.5 from 30 gestational weeks to 52 weeks after birth. The exposure-response relationship revealed that AR had a significant positive association between PM2.5 of 26–76 µg/m3 (adjusted hazard ratios ranged from 1.00 to 1.05).

Conclusion Our study provides evidence that both prenatal and postnatal exposures to PM2.5 are associated with later development of AR. The vulnerable time window may be within late gestation and the first year of life. Further study is required to confirm the vulnerable time period of PM2.5 on AR.

  • paediatric lung disaese
  • clinical epidemiology
  • asthma epidemiology

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  • Contributors Study conception and design: B-FH. Acquisition of data: C-YH. Analysis and interpretation of data: C-MW; Y-CC; B-FH. Drafting of manuscript: Y-TL; HS. Critical revision: C-RJ; B-FH.

  • Funding China Medical University (CMU108-MF-95, CMU107-Z-04), Taichung, Taiwan, and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 105–2119 M-039-002, MOST 106–2119 M-039-001, MOST 107–2119 M-039-001, MOST 108–2621 M-039-001, and MOST 109–2121 M-039-002), Taipei, Taiwan.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are not publicly available.

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