Particulate matter air pollution and blood glucose in children and adolescents: A cross-sectional study in China

Zilong Zhang, Bin Dong, Shanshan Li, Gongbo Chen, Zhaogeng Yang, Yanhui Dong, Zhenghe Wang, Yuming Guo, Jun Ma

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The health effects of particulate matter (PM) air pollution on glucose metabolism have been rarely examined in children and adolescents. Objective: We aimed to investigate the associations between long-term PM exposure and blood glucose and prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in a large population of Chinese children and adolescents. Methods: In 2013, a total of 11,814 children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years were recruited from seven provinces/municipalities in China. Fasting blood sample was taken for the measurement of blood glucose. Satellite-based spatial-temporal models were used to estimate exposure to ambient submicrometer particles (PM1), fine particles (PM2.5) and thoracic particles (PM10). Cross-sectional analyses were performed using mixed-effects multivariable linear and logistic regression models. Results: After adjustment for a range of covariates, every 10 μg/m3 increment in PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations was associated with 0.160 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.039, 0.280], 0.150 (95% CI: 0.044, 0.256) and 0.079 (95% CI: −0.009, 0.167) mmol/L higher blood glucose levels, respectively. PM exposure was also associated with higher prevalence of impaired fasting glucose, but the associations did not reach statistical significance [odds ratio per 10 μg/m3 increment in PM1, PM2.5 and PM10: 1.30 (95% CI: 0.86,1.96), 1.20 (95% CI: 0.85,1.69) and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.83,1.41)]. Conclusions: We found that long-term exposure to PM air pollution was associated with increased levels of blood glucose in children and adolescents. The associations were more evident for PM1 and PM2.5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-873
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Blood glucose
  • Children
  • Particulate matter

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