Few studies have evaluated the association between ambient particulate matter (PM) exposure and childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We explored associations between long-term exposure to ambient PM1 and PM2.5 (particles with airborne diameters of <1 µm and <2.5 µm, respectively) with positive screening for ADHD among 164,081 school-aged children in China. Parents or guardians completed a checklist using DSM-IV, and PM1 and PM2.5 exposures linked via residential addresses were estimated using a spatial statistical model. Long-term exposure to higher ambient PM1 (odds ratio = 1.74; 95% confidence interval = 1.47–2.06 per 10.0 μg m–3) and PM2.5 (odds ratio = 1.65; 95% confidence interval = 1.45–1.88 per 10.0 μg m–3) was associated with greater odds of screening positive for ADHD. The associations were heterogenous across regions, with stronger associations for PM1 exposure than for PM2.5. Our findings highlight the potential importance of ambient PM mass concentrations, sizes, components and sources for protecting children’s neurological health in China, and in the design of interventions to decrease the health burden of children’s ADHD.
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Data supporting the findings of this study are available in the Supplementary Information.
The code for mixed-effects logistic regression models is provided in Supplementary Methods 3.
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The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 82073502 to R.-Q.L.); the Guangxi Key Research and Development Plan (grant no. GUIKEAB18050024 to G.-H.D.); the research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 81872582 to G.-H.D.; 81972992 to B.-Y.Y. and 81703179 to B.-Y.Y.); the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant no. 2018YFE0106900 to X.-W.Z.) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant no. 19ykjc01 to G.-H.D.).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary Fig. 1, Supplementary Tables 1–11 and Supplementary Methods 1–3.
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Liu, RQ., Guo, Y., Bloom, M.S. et al. Differential patterns of association between PM1 and PM2.5 with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nat. Mental Health (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44220-023-00065-5