Children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high levels of outdoor air pollution, according to latest Australian-led research.
The researchers analyzed data from a major Britain health study involving more than 18,000 children born between 2000 and 2002. They found that averaging across ages, children with intellectual disabilities were 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 sulfur dioxide, according to a statement from science publishing group Wiley-Blackwell on Wednesday.
"We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the U.K. 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 University of Sydney researcher Dr Eric Emerson, who led the report on the latest findings reported in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research academic publication.
The children were also 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide and 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, according to the study.
The researchers noted that intellectual disability was more common among children living in more socioeconomically 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, they said.(2018-11-21 Xinhua)