Air pollution puts children at higher risk of disease in adulthood

Children exposed to air pollution, such as wildfire smoke and car exhaust, for as little as one day may be doomed to higher rates of heart disease and other ailments in adulthood, according to a new Stanford-led study. The analysis, published in Scientific Reports, is the first of its kind to investigate air pollution’s effects at the single cell level and to simultaneously focus on both the cardiovascular and immune systems in children. It confirms previous research that bad air can alter gene regulation in a way that may impact long-term health—a finding that could change the way medical experts and parents think about the air children breathe, and inform clinical interventions for those exposed to chronic elevated air pollution.

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