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Study Uncovers Link Between Air Pollution and Intellectual Disabilities in Children

British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution, according to a new Journal of Intellectual Disability Research study funded by Public Health England.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 12:01 am EST
"We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the UK have poorer health and die earlier than they should. This research adds another piece to the jigsaw of understanding why that is the case and what needs to be done about it"

British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution, according to a new Journal of Intellectual Disability Research study funded by Public Health England.

The findings come from an analysis of data extracted from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 UK children born in 2000 to 2002.

Averaging across ages, children with intellectual disabilities were 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of sulphur dioxide.

The authors note that intellectual disability is more common among children living in more socio-economically deprived areas, which tend to have higher levels of air pollution; however, exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, thereby increasing the risk of intellectual disability.

"We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the UK have poorer health and die earlier than they should. This research adds another piece to the jigsaw of understanding why that is the case and what needs to be done about it," said lead author Dr. Eric Emerson, of The University of Sydney, in Australia.

Additional Information


Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jir.12561

 

About Journal

 The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research is devoted exclusively to the scientific study of intellectual disability and publishes papers reporting original observations in this field. The subject matter is broad and includes, but is not restricted to, findings from biological, educational, genetic, medical, psychiatric, psychological and sociological studies, and ethical, philosophical, and legal contributions that increase knowledge on the treatment and prevention of intellectual disability and of associated impairments and disabilities, and/or inform public policy and practice. Expert reviews on themes in which recent research has produced notable advances will be included. Such reviews will normally be by invitation. Anyone expert in his/her particular field wishing to submit an uninvited review is advised to seek prior guidance from the Editor. The Journal also includes brief reports, occasional letters, and an ‘Hypothesis’ section.  All papers are assessed by expert referees.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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