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Allergy/Immunology

Systematic review confirms link between pesticide exposure and respiratory issues in children

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According to a systematic review and meta-analysis, exposure to pesticides significantly increases the risk of asthma, wheezing, and lower respiratory tract infections in children.

The review included 38 articles, encompassing a sample size of 118,303 children under 18 years of age. Data extraction and quality assessment were performed by 4 independent reviewers.

The meta-analysis found that pesticide exposure significantly increased the risk of asthma in children by 24% (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.14-1.35), despite extreme heterogeneity (I² = 81%, P < 0.001). In addition, the odds of developing wheezing were elevated by 34% (OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.14-1.57) with high heterogeneity (I² = 79%, P < 0.001). Pesticide exposure was associated with a 79% higher risk of lower respiratory tract infections (OR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.45-2.21), with low but nonsignificant heterogeneity (I² = 30%, P = 0.18).

The researchers concluded that these findings “contribute to a better understanding of the estimate of the effect of pesticide exposure on respiratory health in children and inform evidence-based preventive strategies and public health interventions.”

Reference
Keleb A, Daba C, Asmare L, et al. The association between children’s exposure to pesticides and asthma, wheezing, and lower respiratory tract infections. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Public Health. 2024;12:1402908. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1402908. PMID: 38868160; PMCID: PMC11167956.

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