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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 155-162

Association between air pollutants and anthropometric measurements of boys in primary schools in Dammam, eastern Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Environmental Health, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulaziz M Sebiany
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P.O. Box 2114, Dammam 31451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_34_18

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Background: The combined action of biological, physical, and chemical agents in the environment impacts on children's health resulting in illness and disability. Body measurements provide the optimum method of evaluating the health status of children. This study was done to measure the main air pollutants that affect the physical growth of primary schoolboys and compare the growth patterns of these young boys in three different areas in the city of Dammam in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in three different environmental areas (residential, commercial, and industrial). The total number of boys in the study was 851. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire with three main parts: sociodemographic, anthropometric measurements, and air pollutant measurements. Results: Less than half the children (45%) residing in the residential area belonged to Classes 4 and 5 socioeconomic groups. In addition, 56.6% of the children residing in the commercial area and 26.5% of children in the industrial area belonged to the same socioeconomic class. There was a statistically significant difference between the mean age (P < 0.01), nationality, and the number of rooms and bedrooms (P < 0.001) in the boys' homes. Furthermore, there were statistically significant differences in weight (P < 0.05), height (P < 0.001), and height for age according to international standards (P < 0.01). Moreover, arm anthropometry of boys living in the residential area was higher than in the other two studied areas. Low values of all anthropometric measurements of the studied boys were significantly associated with exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) >0.35 parts per million (ppm) or carbon monoxide >35 ppm (Saudi standard) outdoors, irrespective of socioeconomic conditions. Conclusions: The most significant factors that affected anthropometric values were total suspended particulate concentration in the outdoor air of the studied areas, parental education, and/or occupation. It is recommended that steps be taken to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010