New research has shown the ill effects of pollution exposure among children. The study was published in the journal, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Research. Blood samples show that children have elevated markers of inflammation, such as interleukin 6 if they were exposed to higher air pollution. Further, higher air pollution was linked to lower cardiac autonomic regulation in children, which impacts how fast the heart beats and how hard it pumps, according to the study. Researchers have found children may be especially susceptible to the effects of air pollution, given that, compared to adults, they have a higher intake of contaminants and greater lung surface area relative to their body weight.
Dr Priyam Mishra, consultant, paediatrician, Jain Multi-speciality Hospital said that poor air quality is a major cause of health problems in children. What is cardiac autonomic regulation? The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for controlling many physiological functions. It induces the force of contraction of the heart and its heart rate. In addition, it controls the peripheral resistance of blood vessels. Autonomic control of cardiovascular function. Also Read - Monkeypox alert: Study finds complications associated with disease are more common in children The afferent information from changes in arterial pressure and blood gas levels reflexively modulates the activity of the relevant visceral motor pathways and, ultimately, of target smooth and cardiac muscles and other more specialized structures. During a short-term decrease in blood pressure, the opposite occurs, and the autonomic nervous system acts to increase vasoconstriction, increase stroke volume, and increase heart rate. Also Read - Emaciated children can suffer malnutrition-related diabetes, expert says condition is life-threatening if untreated How is air pollution affects children's heart? Researchers looked at blood samples from more than 100 healthy children ages 9-11 in the Sacramento area where pollutants near their homes were recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The study was authored by Anna M Parenteau, a doctoral student, and Camelia E Hostinar, associate professor, both from the UC Davis Department of Psychology. The work took place at UC Davis. Also Read - Study finds climate change may increase mortality rate by six times, experts say excess heat can disturb brain functioning Researchers looked at fine particulate matter data from the EPA (PM2.5) -- or the fine particles that can penetrate the lungs and pass into the bloodstream -- finding the children's blood contained markers of systemic inflammation. Additionally, PM2.5, which refers to particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometres or smaller by the EPA, was linked to lower cardiac autonomic regulation assessed using an electrocardiogram. Specifically, researchers used data files maintained by the EPA, which have daily air quality summary information from each outdoor monitor in the country. Dr Mishra added, "Air pollution is affecting the foetus and continues to do so all his life. We have seen increased lower respiratory tract infection, allergies, asthma, and bronchitis. Hospitalisation has also been on the rise for children. Air pollution is also responsible for poor cognitive functioning of the brain, there is a rise in ADHD, and overall growth and development is also getting affected."
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