The Defender’s Weekly Science Digest delivers a roundup of the latest research on children’s health, including studies on vaccines, drugs, chemicals, pesticides and lead exposure.

Early-life air pollution linked to health woes in later life

Higher air pollution exposure in early life is associated with worse health among older adults: A 72-year follow-up study from Scotland; Health & Place, March 2024.

Breathing polluted air raises the risk of illness and death, but research on the very long-term consequences of childhood exposure to fine particulate pollution has been scarce.

A Scottish-led study explained some of the finer points of the pollution-illness-death connection, specifically the effects of estimated exposure to particulate air pollution at age 3 years and poor health outcomes occurring by ages 55, 65, and 75.

Through data from “The Scottish Longitudinal Study 1936 Birth Cohort” — a study of people born that year — investigators linked early-life exposure to particulates with a 10% higher risk of long-term illness in mid-to-late adulthood.

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