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Poor air quality is associated with impaired visual cognition in the first two years of life: A longitudinal investigation

Spencer, John P; Forbes, Samuel H; Naylor, Sophie; Singh, Vinay P; Jackson, Kiara; Deoni, Sean; Tiwari, Madhuri; Kumar, Aarti

Poor air quality is associated with impaired visual cognition in the first two years of life: A longitudinal investigation Thumbnail


Authors

John P Spencer

Sophie Naylor

Vinay P Singh

Kiara Jackson

Sean Deoni

Madhuri Tiwari

Aarti Kumar



Abstract

Background: Poor air quality has been linked to cognitive deficits in children, but this relationship has not been examined in the first year of life when brain growth is at its peak. Methods: We measured in-home air quality focusing on particulate matter with diameter of <2.5 μm (PM2.5) and infants’ cognition longitudinally in a sample of families from rural India. Results: Air quality was poorer in homes that used solid cooking materials. Infants from homes with poorer air quality showed lower visual working memory scores at 6 and 9 months of age and slower visual processing speed from 6 to 21 months when controlling for family socio-economic status. Conclusions: Thus, poor air quality is associated with impaired visual cognition in the first two years of life, consistent with animal studies of early brain development. We demonstrate for the first time an association between air quality and cognition in the first year of life using direct measures of in-home air quality and looking-based measures of cognition. Because indoor air quality was linked to cooking materials in the home, our findings suggest that efforts to reduce cooking emissions should be a key target for intervention.

Citation

Spencer, J. P., Forbes, S. H., Naylor, S., Singh, V. P., Jackson, K., Deoni, S., …Kumar, A. (2023). Poor air quality is associated with impaired visual cognition in the first two years of life: A longitudinal investigation. eLife, 12, Article e83876. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.83876

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 24, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 25, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date May 12, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2023
Journal eLife
Electronic ISSN 2050-084X
Publisher eLife Sciences Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Article Number e83876
DOI https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.83876

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Copyright Statement
Copyright Spencer et al. This
article is distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use and
redistribution provided that the
original author and source are
credited.





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