Variability in how the heart rate responds to stressful experiences is essential for maintaining optimal functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems and also is central to emotional well-being and resilience to stress over one's lifetime. Decreased heart rate variability, as observed in this study, is a known risk factor for mental and physical health problems in later life. Air pollution's negative effect on heart rate variability has previously been found to lead to medical and psychological conditions such as heart disease, asthma, allergies, and mood or behavioral disorders in studies of older children, adolescents, and adults.
Mount Sinai researchers studied 237 Boston-based mothers and their infants and used satellite data and air pollution monitors to determine the level of particulate air pollution the mothers were exposed to during pregnancy. The air pollution levels in this study were similar to levels experienced by the general U.S. population.
Babies - Heart - Rate - Respiration - Age
By studying the babies' heart rate and respiration at age six months, researchers found that the higher the level of the mother's exposure to air...
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