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Air pollution puts children at risk of heart & other diseases

Children who are exposed to air pollution are likely to develop heart disease and other ailments in adulthood, says a study published in Nature Scientific Reports (February). The study conducted by Stanford University, USA contends that even brief exposure (as little as one day) to air pollution such as smoke and car exhaust, can change the regulation and expression of children’s genes and increase the risk of developing heart disease and other ailments in adulthood. The researchers studied children aged six-eight years in Fresno, California, a city infamous for its high air pollution levels due to industrial agriculture and wildfires.

“I think this is compelling enough for pediatricians to say that we have evidence air pollution causes changes in the immune and cardiovascular system associated not only with asthma and respiratory diseases, as has been shown before,” says study lead author Mary Prunicki, director of air pollution and health research at Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research.

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