Gender Differences in Respiratory Health of School Children Exposed to Rail Yard–Generated Air Pollution: The ENRRICH Study

Studies about environmental burdens often explore overall community risk. Increasing evidence suggests, however, differential burdens by gender and age. The purpose of the authors’ research was to determine if gender-related difference exists among children in a region plagued with poor air quality and if increased exposure to pollutants from a major goods movement rail yard influences the relationship. Using a cross-sectional study design, the authors provided respiratory screening for children at two elementary schools. Compared to females, males were at significantly greater odds of exhibiting elevated fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) but less likely to exhibit reduced lung volume. Even in an area of overall poor air quality, the authors found that male children were a vulnerable subpopulation for greater elevated FeNO, while females were at increased risk for reduced lung capacity. Understanding differential burdens in vulnerable subpopulations is critical to providing timely and responsive strategies targeted towards health-based prevention and intervention activities.

Speaker / Author: 
Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, DrPH
Sam Soret, PhD
Mark Ghamsary, PhD
Nico Rizzo, PhD
Marti Baum, MD
David Juma, MPH
Susanne Montgomery, PhD
Month Year: 
January 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
January/February 2016
EH Topics: