Friday, April 19, 2024

Childhood asthma study uncovers risky air pollutant mixtures

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified mixtures of toxic air pollutants that appear to be linked to poor asthma outcomes later in a child’s life. The study examined early exposure to dozens of pollutants potentially experienced by 151 children with mild to severe forms of the disease. The researchers used a novel machine learning algorithm to find that 18 individual chemicals may be linked to poor asthma outcomes later in life. Specifically, they looked at whether a child needed daily asthma-controlling medication or had to visit an emergency room, or spend time in the hospital as a result of their condition. They also found new associations between the outcomes and 20 pollutant mixtures. Several of the chemicals in the mixtures had never been linked to long-term asthma risk. While some cases could be linked to an individual, established air pollutant, others appeared to be linked to mixtures of pollutants that had never been associated with asthma. The results and a description of the new algorithm were described in an article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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