Ambient air pollution has been proposed as an important environmental risk factor that increases global mortality and morbidity. Over the past decade, several human and animal studies have reported an association between exposure to air pollution and altered metabolic and endocrine systems in children. However, the results for these studies were mixed and inconclusive and did not demonstrate causality because different outcomes were observed due to different study designs, exposure periods, and methodologies for exposure measurements. Current proposed mechanisms include altered immune response, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, inadequate placental development, and epigenetic modulation. In this review, we summarized the results of previous pediatric studies that reported effects of prenatal and postnatal air pollution exposure on childhood type 1 diabetes mellitus, obesity, insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction, and timing of pubertal onset, along with underlying related mechanisms.
- Air pollution