Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Researchers link childhood asthma to exposure to traffic-related pollution

September 21, 2005

Univ. of Southern CA investigators show proximity to freeways poses respiratory risk

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 20) -Living near a freeway may mean more than the annoying rumble of cars and trucks: For children, it brings an increased risk of asthma, according to researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Scientists studying air pollution levels in 10 Southern California cities found that the closer children live to a freeway, the greater their chance of having been diagnosed with asthma. They report their findings in the November issue of the journal Epidemiology.

Researchers also found that children who had higher levels of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, in the air around their homes were more likely to have developed asthma. NO2 is a product of pollutants emitted from combustion engines, such as those in cars and trucks.

"These results suggest that tailpipe pollutants from freeway traffic are a significant risk factor for asthma," says lead author James Gauderman, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. "Considering the enormous costs associated with childhood asthma, today's public policy toward regulating pollutants may merit some re-evaluation."

"These results have both scientific and public health implications," says David A. Schwartz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the federal agency that funded the study. "They strengthen an emerging body of evidence that air pollution can cause asthma, and that exposure to outdoor levels of nitrogen dioxide and other traffic-related air pollutants may be a significant risk factor for this illness."

Researchers looked at the pollution-asthma link in 208 children who were part of the USC-led Children's Health Study, the longest investigation ever into air pollution and kids' health. The study has tracked the respiratory health of children in a group of Southern California cities since 1993.

The investigators placed air samplers outside the home of each student to measure NO2 levels. In addition, they determined the distance of each child's home from local freeways, as well as how many vehicles traveled within 150 meters (about 164 yards) of the child's home. Finally, they estimated traffic-related air pollution levels at each child's home using models that take weather conditions, vehicle counts and other important factors into account.

In all, 31 children (15 percent) had asthma. Scientists found a link between asthma prevalence in the children and NO2 levels at their homes. For each increase of 5.7 parts per billion in average NO2-which represents a typical range from low to high pollution levels among Southern California cities-the risk of asthma increased by 83 percent. Risk of wheezing and current asthma medication use also rose as NO2 levels increased.

They also found that the closer the students lived to a freeway, the higher the NO2 levels outside their homes. NO2 levels also corresponded with traffic-related pollution estimates from the group's statistical model.

It was not surprising, then, when they found that the closer the students lived to a freeway, the higher the students' asthma prevalence. For every 1.2 kilometers (about three-quarters of a mile) the students lived closer to the freeway, asthma risk increased by 89 percent. For example, students who lived 400 meters from the freeway had an 89 percent higher risk of asthma than students living 1,600 meters away from the freeway.

Interestingly, the researchers saw that air pollution from freeway traffic influenced NO2 concentrations at homes more strongly than pollution from other types of roads. Traffic counts within 150 meters of homes (which primarily comprised traffic from smaller streets) were only weakly correlated with measured NO2.

In any community, a freeway is a major source of air pollution. "Cars and trucks traveling on freeways and other large roads may be a bigger source of pollutants that matter for asthma than traffic on smaller roads," Gauderman says. Scientists also find it difficult to get good data on traffic on smaller streets, which may make it harder to find associations between asthma and local traffic.

Gauderman cautions that researchers do not yet know that NO2 is to blame for the asthma. NO2 travels together with other airborne pollutants, such as particulate matter, so it may be a marker for other asthma-causing pollutants.

Study sites included the cities of Alpine, Atascadero, Lake Elsinore, Lancaster, Long Beach, Mira Loma, Riverside, San Dimas, Santa Maria and Upland.

University of Southern California


Related Asthma Current Events and Asthma News Articles


Study finds one third of children have higher levels of cardiometabolic risk factors due to family history
A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that children with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and/or type 2 diabetes were found to have cholesterol levels significantly higher than children with no family history of those conditions.

Does discrimination contribute to lower rates of flu vaccination in racial/ethnic minorities?
Yearly flu shots are strongly recommended for adults with certain chronic illnesses, but patients of racial/ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive them.

Novel nicotine inhaler doubles smoking quit rates
A study by researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago, Wellington shows that smokers who used a nicotine inhaler were twice as likely to quit smoking as smokers using a placebo inhaler.

Care for COPD: Could more be done?
Fifteen million: That's the number of adults in the United States affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Capitalizing on a teachable moment motivates parents of kids with asthma to quit smoking
Parents who smoke are more likely to quit smoking after receiving motivational smoking cessation counseling following a "teachable moment" (TM) such as witnessing their child experience an asthma attack.

Very poorly controlled asthma highly prevalent in TENOR II cohort after more than a decade
Nearly half (48%) of patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma in The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens follow-up study (TENOR II) still had very poorly controlled (VPC) symptoms after more than a decade of treatment.

COPD symptoms common among smokers, even when undiagnosed
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that smokers, who wouldn't typically be diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are still showing symptoms consistent with the diagnosis.

Persistent childhood asthma linked to COPD
The development of persistent childhood asthma - characterized by having trouble breathing on an almost daily basis - is not well understood.

New study finds asthma patients rely heavily on rescue inhalers, difficult to diagnose
In a new national survey of asthma patients, Health Union, and its new online community Asthma.net, reveals that most were satisfied with the care they received; however, the most frequently used form of treatment, at 89%, is the rescue inhaler.

Survey: Common asthma warnings overlooked
A new national asthma survey commissioned by National Jewish Health shows that many adults are unaware of common symptoms of asthma in adults. Doctors say that the findings explain why many adults with asthma may not realize that they have the disease, and don't seek treatment that can help them.
More Asthma Current Events and Asthma News Articles

Breathe to Heal: Break Free From Asthma (Learn Buteyko) (Breathing Normalization)

Breathe to Heal: Break Free From Asthma (Learn Buteyko) (Breathing Normalization)
by Sasha Yakovleva (Author), K.P. Buteyko MD-PhD (Author), A.E. Novozhilov MD (Author), Victor Lunn-Rockliffe (Illustrator), Arash Akhgari (Illustrator), Jane E. Brody (Illustrator), Thomas Fredricksen (Illustrator), Ira J. Packman (Illustrator), Jean Boles (Illustrator)


Understand Asthma & Breathing Problems. Stop fighting against asthma attacks and breathing difficulties! Say "Goodbye" to breathing problems! This book will help asthma sufferers to establish natural and wholesome breathing patterns and prevent asthma attacks. It will provide you with the information you need to tame your or your child's breathing difficulties naturally by improving the function of the respiratory system. It contains comprehensive instructions on the Breathing Normalization method based on the discovery by Dr. Buteyko in 1952 in Russia. Since then, this commonly called Buteyko technique or Buteyko Breathing method has undergone many trials, and its benefits became known all over the world. It has helped countless asthmatics to reduce or eliminate their asthma attacks and...

The Allergy and Asthma Cure: A Complete 8-Step Nutritional Program

The Allergy and Asthma Cure: A Complete 8-Step Nutritional Program
by Fred Pescatore (Author)


Free yourself of allergies and asthma once and for all with Dr. Pescatore's breakthrough program

"" Dr. Fred Pescatore's The Allergy and Asthma Cure reveals a unique and revolutionary understanding of the underlying conditions of allergy and asthma-from food triggers to the environment to nutritional deficiencies. His integrative program of both alternative and traditional treatments can dramatically improve health and vitality, safely and soundly. This book will have a prominent place in my library and I highly recommend it! ""
-Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S., author of the bestselling The Fat Flush Plan

""Conventional medicine has largely shrugged its shoulders in confusion about the causes of allergies and asthma in millions of people. In this book Dr. Fred...

A Cure for Asthma?: What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You--and Why

A Cure for Asthma?: What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You--and Why
by David L. Hahn MD MS (Author)


This book challenges conventional wisdom about the causes and treatments of asthma. Could hard-to-treat asthma be triggered by a persistent infection? Dr. David Hahn presents the scientific evidence and compelling case histories that led him to his surprising conclusion. He describes the treatment protocol he has used successfully. Find out if your asthma might be cured once and for all instead of managed.

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide
by Dr Paul Ehrlich (Author), Dr Larry Chiaramonte (Author), Henry Ehrlich (Author)


Asthma and allergies are at epidemic proportions. It doesn't have to be that way. Two experienced pediatric allergists tell everything a conscientious parent needs to know about these conditions, the best in approved treatments, behavioral changes that can help control them, what families can do to reduce the toll that even severe asthma and allergies take on their lives, the myths and realities of alternative treatments and food allergies, skin allergies, advice for support groups, lists, checklists, and much, much more.

Fun and entertaining, almost every page is enlivened by anecdotes from the authors' decades of practice showing the special rapport that have made them so successful in getting results and keeping patients out of emergency rooms.

They make common cause...

Asthma For Dummies

Asthma For Dummies
by William E. Berger (Author), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Foreword)


The incidence of asthma is rising dramatically in the United States and across the globe. Asthma affects 17 million people in the U.S. and is the most common chronic childhood disease. If you or someone you love suffers from asthma, you know that there is no cure—however, with proper care, asthmatics can lead normal, active, and fulfilling lives. Now you can breathe easy with this plain-English guide, which clearly explains the prevention, diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment of the disease. Asthma For Dummies will help asthma sufferers and their loved ones get a strong handle on managing the disease. Dr. William Berger, one of the nation’s foremost experts on allergies and asthma, gives you the tools you need to: Understand the relationship between allergies and asthma Identify your...

Asthma-Free Naturally: Everything You Need to Know to Take Control of Your Asthma - Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method Suitable for Adults and Children

Asthma-Free Naturally: Everything You Need to Know to Take Control of Your Asthma - Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method Suitable for Adults and Children
by Patrick McKeown MA (Author)


This revolutionary book teaches readers how to take control of their asthma safely and effectively without any side effects. The approach encompasses the Buteyko Breathing Method as well as guidance on diet, sleep, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes that can provide a natural alternative to Asthma medications. The author was a chronic asthmatic who applied the Buteyko Breathing Method to free himself from his asthma condition. In this book, he details the Buteyko Breathing Method and provides guidance on diet, sleep, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes that can provide a natural alternative to Asthma medications. The Buteyko Breathing Method is considered by many to be the single most effective self-help treatment for asthma and can be used by adults and children

The Asthma Sourcebook 3rd Edition (Sourcebooks)

The Asthma Sourcebook 3rd Edition (Sourcebooks)
by Francis Adams (Author)


"Authoritative, comprehensive."
--Library Journal "Logical and straightforward."
--Harvard Women’s Health Watch "[Dr. Adams] succeeds admirably."
--Consumer Health Information Sourcebook Written by an award-winning pulmonary specialist and one of New York magazine’s “Best Doctors in New York,” The Asthma Sourcebook explores the latest therapies, medications, diet and nutrition guidelines, and provides you with advice on living with this chronic disorder. This trusted source also examines the challenges of raising children with asthma; debunks commonly held beliefs about food, travel, and exercise; and pinpoints real asthma-causing allergens and how you can avoid them.

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders
by Kenneth Bock (Author), Cameron Stauth (Author)


Autism is an epidemic: It has spiked 1,500 percent in the last twenty years. ADHD, asthma and allergies have also skyrocketed over the same time period. One of these conditions now strikes one in every three children in America. But there is hope. Leading medical innovator Kenneth Bock, M.D., has helped change the lives of more than a thousand children, and in this important book, with a comprehensive program that targets all four of the 4-A disorders, he offers help to children everywhere. This is the book that finally puts hope within reach.

Doctors have generally overlooked the connections among the 4-A disorders, despite their concurrent rise and the presence of many medical clues. For years the medical establishment has considered autism medically untreatable and utterly...

I Have Asthma, What Does That Mean?

I Have Asthma, What Does That Mean?
by Wendy Chen (Author), Izzy Bean (Illustrator)


Asthma is treatable. Asthma is controllable. Asthma doesn't have to be scary. These are the lessons the boy in this story learns, with the help of his parents, his doctor, and his imagination. For any child with a classmate, friend, or relative with asthma, I Have Asthma, What Does That Mean? shows asthma is nothing to be embarrassed or shy about. It explains what happens during an asthma attack, and how keeping asthma under control can be a manageable part of a normal, active lifestyle.

Asthma (True Bookhealth)

Asthma (True Bookhealth)
by Ann O Squire (Author)


Experts estimate that more than 235 million people around the world suffer from the respiratory condition known as asthma. Readers will get an in-depth look at this common illness as they learn how it attacks the airways of those who suffer from it, making it difficult to breathe. They will also learn about the many possible triggers of asthma attacks, find out how the disease is diagnosed and treated, and much more.

© 2017 BrightSurf.com