Thursday, February 6, 2020

Nearly half of all childhood asthma cases in Barcelona are attributable to air pollution

News from ISGlobal

As many as 1,230 cases of childhood asthma in Barcelona—48% of the total—could be attributable to air pollution each year. This is the main conclusion of a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). The study also finds that childhood asthma related to air pollution may have a larger effect on the city’s less socially deprived children.

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease and has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. A recent study by ISGlobal, which used the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) methodology, found that 33% of new childhood asthma cases in Europe were attributable to air pollution.

The new study used the same quantitative approach to estimate the number of childhood asthma cases in the city of Barcelona attributable to three main air pollutants: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon (BC). The study, published in Environmental Research, relied on census data for the city of Barcelona. Asthma incidence rates in children between 1 and 18 years of age were collected from the Global Burden of Disease database. Exposure levels for the three pollutants were calculated using a land-use regression model (LUR).


Pierangeli I., Nieuwenhuijsen MJ., Cirach M., Rojas-Rueda D. Health equity and burden of childhood asthma related to air pollution in Barcelona. Environmental Research. February 2020.

More information:
ISGlobal website