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Association between PM10 exposure and sleep of Egyptian school children



This study aims to investigate the potential association between exposure to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <10 μm (PM10) and sleep disturbances among Egyptian school children.


In this cross-sectional study, parents of school children from four elementary schools in areas with different PM10 exposures filled out the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children questionnaire in Arabic. Air pollution data were obtained from the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.


The sample consisted of 276 children, 121 (44 %) of them were boys with a mean age of 9.26 ± 1.96 years. Disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS), disorders of excessive somnolence, and the total score were reported in the clinical range (T score > 70) in 19.9, 24.3, and 24.3 % of the sample, respectively. A generalized additive model with adjustment for potential confounding factors was used to examine the association between PM10 exposure and sleep disturbances. There were statistically significant associations between PM10 exposure and DIMS and sleep hyperhidrosis (P < 0.05).


Air pollution exposure has a negative impact on children’s sleep with significant association between exposure to PM10 and sleep disturbances.

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The author would like to thank all the children and parents for their participation in this study and Professor AM Elabbasi of the Institute of Statistical Studies and Research, Cairo University for assisting in the statistical analysis.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Maha K. Abou-Khadra.

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Abou-Khadra, M.K. Association between PM10 exposure and sleep of Egyptian school children. Sleep Breath 17, 653–657 (2013).

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  • Air pollution
  • Sleep problems