Influence of agricultural and grey spaces proximity on biomarkers of exposure and effect: A population-based study

Sara Maio, Sandra Baldacci, Anna Angino, Eija Parmes, Juha Pärkkä, Giancarlo Pesce, Cara Maesano, Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Viegi Giovanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review


Background: A link between residential land cover and allergic symptoms has been suggested. Aim: To assess the influence of residential land cover on objective biomarkers of exposure and effect in a general population sample.
Methods: 2070 subjects (age range: 15-84) living in Pisa, Italy, were investigated in 1991-93 through a questionnaire on health status and risk factors, blood analyses, skin prick test (SPT). Land-cover exposure within a 1000 m buffer from each subjects' home address was computed using data from the CORINE program (CLC 1990). The land coverage effects on positivity to SPT and to serum antibodies anti-benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE)-DNA adducts, a markers of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure, were assessed using logistic regression models, adjusted for sex, age, BMI, education, smoking habits, occupational exposure, family history of allergic/respiratory diseases.
Results: A 10% increase in agricultural space coverage was associated with lower risk of having BPDE-DNA (OR [95% CI]: 0.91 [CI 0.87-0.97]), overall SPT positivity (OR 0.93 [0.88-0.98]), seasonal SPT positivity (OR 0.89 [0.84-0.95]) and polisensitization (OR 0.87 [0.81-0.94]). A 10% increase in grey space coverage was associated with higher risk of having BPDE-DNA (OR 1.09 [1.03-1.15]), overall SPT positivity (OR 1.07 [1.02-1.13]), seasonal SPT positivity (OR 1.12 [1.05-1.19]) and polisensitization (OR 1.15 [1.06-1.23]). Conclusions: Our results provide evidence for a protective effect of agricultural space and an adverse effect of grey space on allergic status using biomarkers. Further, the validity of residential land cover as a proxy of air pollution exposure is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number64
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
Event30th ERS International Congress 2020: Online - Virtual
Duration: 7 Sep 20209 Sep 2020


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