Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Prenatal fine particulate exposure and early childhood asthma: Effect of maternal stress and fetal sex.

Authors: Lee, Alison; Leon Hsu, Hsiao-Hsien; Mathilda Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu; Bose, Sonali; Rosa, Maria José; Kloog, Itai; Wilson, Ander; Schwartz, Joel; Cohen, Sheldon; Coull, Brent A; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J

Published In J Allergy Clin Immunol, (2018 05)

Abstract: The impact of prenatal ambient air pollution on child asthma may be modified by maternal stress, child sex, and exposure dose and timing.We prospectively examined associations between coexposure to prenatal particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and maternal stress and childhood asthma (n = 736).Daily PM2.5 exposure during pregnancy was estimated using a validated satellite-based spatiotemporally resolved prediction model. Prenatal maternal negative life events (NLEs) were dichotomized around the median (high: NLE ≥ 3; low: NLE < 3). We used Bayesian distributed lag interaction models to identify sensitive windows for prenatal PM2.5 exposure on children's asthma by age 6 years, and determine effect modification by maternal stress and child sex.Bayesian distributed lag interaction models identified a critical window of exposure (19-23 weeks' gestation, cumulative odds ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.26; per interquartile range [1.7 μg/m3] increase in prenatal PM2.5 level) during which children concomitantly exposed to prenatal PM2.5 and maternal stress had increased risk of asthma. No significant association was seen in children born to women reporting low prenatal stress. When examining modifying effects of prenatal stress and fetal sex, we found that boys born to mothers with higher prenatal stress were most vulnerable (19-21 weeks' gestation; cumulative odds ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.15-1.41; per interquartile range increase in PM2.5).Prenatal PM2.5 exposure during sensitive windows is associated with increased risk of child asthma, especially in boys concurrently exposed to elevated maternal stress.

PubMed ID: 28801196 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/adverse effects; Air Pollutants/immunology; Air Pollution/adverse effects; Asthma/etiology*; Asthma/immunology*; Bayes Theorem; Child; Female; Gestational Age; Humans; Hypersensitivity/immunology; Maternal Exposure/adverse effects*; Mothers; Particulate Matter/adverse effects*; Particulate Matter/immunology*; Pregnancy; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/etiology; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/immunology*; Prospective Studies; Sex; Sex Factors; Stress, Physiological/immunology*

to Top