Multiple environmental exposures in early-life and allergy-related outcomes in childhood

B. Granum*, B. Oftedal, L. Agier, V. Siroux, P. Bird, M. Casas, C. Warembourg, J. Wright, L. Chatzi, M. de Castro, D. Donaire, R. Grazuleviciene, L.S. Haug, L. Maitre, O. Robinson, I. Tamayo-Uria, J. Urquiza, M. Nieuwenhuijsen, R. Slama, C. ThomsenM. Vrijheid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Early onset and high prevalence of allergic diseases result in high individual and socio-economic burdens. Several studies provide evidence for possible effects of environmental factors on allergic diseases, but these are mainly single-exposure studies. The exposome provides a novel holistic approach by simultaneously studying a large set of exposures. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between a broad range of prenatal and childhood environmental exposures and allergy-related outcomes in children.Material and Methods: Analyses of associations between 90 prenatal and 107 childhood exposures and allergy-related outcomes (last 12 months: rhinitis and itchy rash; ever: doctor-diagnosed eczema and food allergy) in 6-11 years old children (n = 1270) from the European Human Early-Life Exposome cohort were performed. Initially, we used an exposome-wide association study (ExWAS) considering the exposures independently, followed by a deletion-substitution-addition selection (DSA) algorithm considering all exposures simultaneously. All the exposure variables selected in the DSA were included in a final multi-exposure model using binomial general linear model (GLM).Results: In ExWAS, no exposures were associated with the outcomes after correction for multiple comparison. In multi-exposure models for prenatal exposures, lower distance of residence to nearest road and higher di-isononyl phthalate level were associated with increased risk of rhinitis, and particulate matter absorbance (PMabs) was associated with a decreased risk. Furthermore, traffic density on nearest road was associated with increased risk of itchy rash and diethyl phthalate with a reduced risk. DSA selected no associations of childhood exposures, or between prenatal exposures and eczema or food allergy.Discussion: This first comprehensive and systematic analysis of many environmental exposures suggests that prenatal exposure to traffic-related variables, PMabs and phthalates are associated with rhinitis and itchy rash.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106038
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • air-pollution
  • allergic disease
  • asthma
  • atopic-dermatitis
  • birth
  • childhood
  • cohort profile
  • eczema
  • environmental exposure
  • exposome
  • phthalate exposure
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal exposure
  • smoke exposure
  • traffic density
  • Exposome
  • Childhood
  • Environmental exposure
  • Pregnancy
  • Allergic disease


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