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

Sci Total Environ. 2019 Nov 15;691:868-873. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.179. Epub 2019 Jul 12.


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.

Keywords: Adolescents; Blood glucose; Children; Particulate matter.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Child
  • China
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Particulate Matter