Exposure to Particulate Matter as a Potential Risk Factor for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Korean Children and Adolescents (KNHANES 2008–2018)

Jung Im Shim, Garam Byun, Jong Tae Lee

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Many epidemiological studies have suggested that air pollution adversely affects neurodevelopment in children; however, evidence is still lacking. This study aimed to determine the association between particulate matter (PM) exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. Data were obtained from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2018. Outcomes were defined from parental reports of ever doctor-diagnosed ADHD, and ADHD cases were matched to non-cases with 1:10 age–sex matching. Individual exposure levels were assigned according to each study participant’s administrative address during the year of diagnosis. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). After age–sex matching at a 1:10 ratio, the final study participants comprised 1,120 children aged 6–19 years old. A unit increase in the PM10 concentration was significantly associated with ADHD (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.02–2.02 per 10 µg/m3). The association with ADHD was stronger at higher quartiles than in the lower quartiles of PM10 exposure; however, it was not statistically significant. Our results suggested that long-term PM10 exposure was associated with increased ADHD in children and adolescents. Children diagnosed with ADHD suffer from a variety of social activity and have a significant economic burden. Therefore, it is considered an important role to find out the effects of environmental risk factors, including air pollution, on children and adolescents. This may also help to increase the body of knowledge in this field and to stimulate further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13966
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2022R1A2C1006661).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • ADHD
  • adolescent
  • child
  • neurodevelopmental disorder
  • particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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