Publications by authors named "Carlos Zabaleta"

5 Publications

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Pre and postnatal exposure to mercury and respiratory health in preschool children from the Spanish INMA Birth Cohort Study.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 20;782:146654. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Epidemiology and Environmental Health Joint Research Unit, Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, FISABIO-Universitat Jaume I-Universitat de València, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia, Spain; Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Av. Monforte de Lemos, 3-5. Pabellón 11, 28029 Madrid, Spain.

Effects of mercury on maturing immune system have been reported, however the association with respiratory and allergy problems during infancy remains unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between pre and postnatal mercury exposure and respiratory and allergy problems among preschool children and to examine the role of potential modifying factors. Study subjects were children participant in Spanish Childhood and Environment Project (INMA, 2003-2008). We measured total mercury levels in cord blood (n = 1868) and hair at 4 years of age (n = 1347). Respiratory outcomes (wheezing, severe wheezing, chestiness, persistent cough, eczema and otitis) were obtained by questionnaires administered to parents. Associations were investigated by logistic regression adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle-related variables in each cohort and subsequent meta-analysis. We tested effect modification by factors related to individual susceptibility, diet and co-exposure with other pollutants. The geometric mean of cord blood and hair total mercury was 8.20 μg/L and 0.97 μg/g, respectively. No statistically significant association between pre or postnatal mercury exposure and respiratory and allergy outcomes was found. Notwithstanding, lower maternal intake of fruits and vegetables increased the risk of some respiratory outcomes due to the prenatal exposure to mercury (p < 0.05). Moreover, an inverse association between prenatal mercury exposure and some respiratory outcomes was observed among children with higher maternal exposure to organocholorine compounds or smoking (p < 0.05). Also, sex and postnatal smoking exposure modulated mercury postnatal effects on persistent cough (p < 0.05). In conclusion, no association between pre and postnatal mercury exposure and respiratory and allergy problems among the whole population at study was found. However, diet and other toxicants could modulate this relation, especially during prenatal period. More research on this topic is warranted due to the limited evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146654DOI Listing
March 2021

Prenatal exposure to organochlorine compounds and lung function during childhood.

Environ Int 2019 10 27;131:105049. Epub 2019 Jul 27.

ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Introduction: Prenatal exposure to organochlorine compounds (OCs) can increase the risk of reported respiratory symptoms in children. It remains unclear whether these compounds can also impact on lung function. We assessed the association between prenatal exposure to OCs and lung function during childhood.

Methods: We included 1308 mother-child pairs enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Prenatal concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane [p,p'-DDT], p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [p,p'-DDE], hexachlorobenzene [HCB], and seven polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] were measured in cord blood. Spirometry was performed in the offspring at ages 4 (n = 636) and 7 years (n = 1192).

Results: More than 80% of samples presented quantifiable levels of p,p'-DDE, HCB, PCB-138, PCB-153, and PCB-180; p,p'-DDE was the compound with the highest median concentrations. At 4 years, prenatal p,p'-DDE exposure was associated with a decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV) in all quartiles of exposure (e.g., third quartile [0.23-0.34 ng/mL]: β for FEV -53.61 mL, 95% CI -89.87, -17.35, vs. the lowest). Prenatal p,p'-DDE levels also decreased forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV/FVC, but associations did not reach statistical significance in most exposure quartiles. At 7 years, p,p'-DDE was associated with a decrease in FVC and FEV in only the second quartile of exposure (e.g. β for FEV -36.96 mL, 95% CI -66.22, -7.70, vs. the lowest). Prenatal exposure to HCB was associated with decreased FVC and FEV, but in only the second quartile and at 7 years (e.g. [0.07-0.14 ng/mL]: β for FEV -25.79 mL, 95% CI -55.98, 4.39, vs. the lowest). PCBs were not consistently associated with lung function.

Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to p,p'-DDE may decrease lung function during childhood, especially FEV and at medium levels of exposure. Further and deeper knowledge on the impact of environmental chemicals during pregnancy on lung development is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105049DOI Listing
October 2019

Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances, immune-related outcomes, and lung function in children from a Spanish birth cohort study.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2019 07 28;222(6):945-954. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain; Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Spain.

Background: Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has been associated with impaired immune and respiratory health during childhood but the evidence is inconsistent and limited for lung function. We studied the association between prenatal PFASs exposure and immune and respiratory health, including lung function, up to age 7 years in the Spanish INMA birth cohort study.

Methods: We assessed four PFASs in maternal plasma samples collected during the 1st trimester of pregnancy (years: 2003-2008): perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorononanoate (PFNA). Mothers reported the occurrence (yes/no) of lower respiratory tract infections, wheezing, asthma, and eczema in the previous 12 months at 1.5 and 4 years of the child (n = 1188) and at 7 years (n = 1071). At ages 4 (n = 503) and 7 (n = 992) years lung function was assessed using spirometry tests.

Results: The most abundant PFASs were PFOS and PFOA (geometric means: 5.80 and 2.31 ng/mL, respectively). The relative risk of asthma during childhood per each doubling in PFNA concentration was 0.74 (95 CI%: 0.57, 0.96). The relative risk of eczema during childhood per every doubling in PFOS concentration was 0.86 (95 CI%: 0.75, 0.98). Higher PFOA concentrations were associated with lower forced vital capacity and lower forced expiratory volume in 1 s z-scores at 4 years [β (95 CI %): -0.17 (-0.34, -0.01) and -0.13 (-0.29, 0.03), respectively], but not at 7 years.

Conclusion: This longitudinal study suggests that different PFASs may affect the developing immune and respiratory systems differently. Prenatal exposure to PFNA and PFOS may be associated with reduced risk of respiratory and immune outcomes, particularly asthma and eczema whereas exposure to PFOA may be associated with reduced lung function in young children. These mixed results need to be replicated in follow-up studies at later ages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.06.005DOI Listing
July 2019

Early growth characteristics and the risk of reduced lung function and asthma: A meta-analysis of 25,000 children.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016 Apr 11;137(4):1026-1035. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and Sach's Children Hospital, Stockholm, Switzerland.

Background: Children born preterm or with a small size for gestational age are at increased risk for childhood asthma.

Objective: We sought to assess the hypothesis that these associations are explained by reduced airway patency.

Methods: We used individual participant data of 24,938 children from 24 birth cohorts to examine and meta-analyze the associations of gestational age, size for gestational age, and infant weight gain with childhood lung function and asthma (age range, 3.9-19.1 years). Second, we explored whether these lung function outcomes mediated the associations of early growth characteristics with childhood asthma.

Results: Children born with a younger gestational age had a lower FEV1, FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio, and forced expiratory volume after exhaling 75% of vital capacity (FEF75), whereas those born with a smaller size for gestational age at birth had a lower FEV1 but higher FEV1/FVC ratio (P < .05). Greater infant weight gain was associated with higher FEV1 but lower FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF75 in childhood (P < .05). All associations were present across the full range and independent of other early-life growth characteristics. Preterm birth, low birth weight, and greater infant weight gain were associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma (pooled odds ratio, 1.34 [95% CI, 1.15-1.57], 1.32 [95% CI, 1.07-1.62], and 1.27 [95% CI, 1.21-1.34], respectively). Mediation analyses suggested that FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, and FEF75 might explain 7% (95% CI, 2% to 10%) to 45% (95% CI, 15% to 81%) of the associations between early growth characteristics and asthma.

Conclusions: Younger gestational age, smaller size for gestational age, and greater infant weight gain were across the full ranges associated with childhood lung function. These associations explain the risk of childhood asthma to a substantial extent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2015.08.050DOI Listing
April 2016

Intrauterine and early postnatal exposure to outdoor air pollution and lung function at preschool age.

Thorax 2015 Jan 20;70(1):64-73. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain.

Background: Effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to air pollution on lung function at preschool age remain unexplored. We examined the association of exposure to air pollution during specific trimesters of pregnancy and postnatal life with lung function in preschoolers.

Methods: Lung function was assessed with spirometry in preschoolers aged 4.5 years (n=620) participating in the INfancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) cohort. Temporally adjusted land use regression (LUR) models were applied to estimate individual residential exposures to benzene and nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) during specific trimesters of pregnancy and early postnatal life (the first year of life). Recent and current (1 year and 1 week before lung function testing, respectively) exposures to NO₂ and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were also assessed.

Results: Exposure to higher levels of benzene and NO₂ during pregnancy was associated with reduced lung function. FEV1 estimates for an IQR increase in exposures during the second trimester of pregnancy were -18.4 mL, 95% CI -34.8 to -2.1 for benzene and -28.0 mL, 95% CI -52.9 to -3.2 for NO₂. Relative risk (RR) of low lung function (<80% of predicted FEV1) for an IQR increase in benzene and NO₂ during the second trimester of pregnancy were 1.22, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.46 and 1.30, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.76, respectively. Associations for early postnatal, recent and current exposures were not statistically significant. Stronger associations appeared among allergic children and those of lower social class.

Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to residential traffic-related air pollution may result in long-term lung function deficits at preschool age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-205413DOI Listing
January 2015