It’s no secret that living in a big city may have adverse effects on both your physical and mental health, but did you know before they’re even born, infants could be potentially affected?
As per the study, our lifespans may be impacted by the amount of pollution in the air. Researchers looked in 641 groups of mothers and their teens who are pregnant at or after 37 weeks, focusing on rates of particulate matter — also known as particle contamination — in which the mom has and comparing that to the amount of the infant’s telomeres, to locate a potential biological aging mark.
Using DNA from every infant’s cord blood and lymph cells, the investigators found that babies whose mothers had greater vulnerability to air pollution had significantly shorter telomeres, which couldn’t be explained by other factors such as the mother’s ethnicity, body mass index, or whether she’s smoked.
Published in JAMA Pediatrics, scientists looked at telomere length and air pollution exposure at birth. They reported that mothers who had been exposed to high levels of particles below 2.5 μm in diameter, also gave birth to children using shorter telomere length.
Prof. Rebecca Reynolds said: “This carefully conducted research adds to this growing literature which environmental exposures in maternity influence on genders health. By measuring fluctuations in telomere length in cord and placenta blood, the writers explore a possible mechanism. Further research is necessary to determine whether these changes affect on infant health and growth and to understand if there is a ‘critical window’ during pregnancy when environmental exposures have the most damaging consequences.”
Although mother’s exposed to high levels of pollution and their babies are more suseptible to potentntially shorter lifespans, improvement’s in air quality may aid in boosting or even reversing this aging process.