Rapid rural-urban migration has created overcrowded areas characterized by concentrated poverty and increases in indoor and outdoor air pollutants. These "hotspots" constitute an increased risk of violence and disease outbreaks. We hypothesize that the effects of poverty and associated air pollution-related stress on impaired cognitive skills are mediated by inflammatory cytokines. A research framework is proposed, encompassing (i) an epidemiological investigation of associations between poverty, high concentrations of air pollutants, violence and health, (ii) a longitudinal follow-up of working memory capacities and inflammatory markers, and (iii) intervention programs aiming to strengthen employability and decreased exposures to toxic air pollutants.
- Air pollution
- Systemic inflammation