Air pollutants and attention deficit hyperactivity disordemedication administration in elementary schools

Rami A. Saadeh, Wasantha P. Jayawardene, David K. Lohrmann, Ahmed H. Youssefagha, Mohammed Z. Allouh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Air pollution is considered a risk factor for several diseases, particularly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. However, the effects of air pollution on neurobe-havioral disorders have not been confirmed as of yet. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether there was an association between seven air pollutants and ADHD medica-tion administration (ADHD-MA) in Pennsylvania-located elementary schools over a 3-year period. An ecological study design involving records of 168,825 children from elementary schools in 49 Pennsylvania counties was used. The number of children with ADHD-MA was extracted from an online software specifically designed for allowing nurses to record health conditions in schools. Daily measurements of air pollutants were obtained from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. The differences in the number of ADHD-MA among the four seasons, for all years, were statistically significant (P<0.001). Three air pollutants (SO2, CO, and PM2.5) were significantly associated with ADHD-MA; no interactions among air pollutants were significant. Air pollution was thus likely associated with ADHD-MA. Prospective epidemiolog-ical and biomedical studies should next examine the molecular relationship between air pollution and ADHD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalBiomedical Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • air pollutants
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • elementary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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