Thursday March 21, 2019

Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

For the study, the researchers analysed data from 1,522 Boston-area children born between 1999 and 2002.

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Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution may significantly increase the risk of asthma in early childhood, a study has warned.
Representational Image, Pixabay

Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution may significantly increase the risk of asthma in early childhood, a study has warned.

The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, showed that living close to a major road was linked to childhood asthma at all ages examined.

“Children living less than 100 metres from a major road had nearly three times the odds of current asthma – children who either experience asthma symptoms or use its medications daily – by ages seven to 10, compared with children living more than 400 metres away from a major road,” said study co-author Mary Rice from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, US.

The researchers found that traffic-related pollutants appeared to increase asthma risk in childhood.
Asthma Medicine, pixabay

For the study, the researchers analysed data from 1,522 Boston-area children born between 1999 and 2002.

The researchers used mapping technologies to determine the distance between each child’s home address and the nearest major roadway.

They also linked home addresses to census data and satellite-derived atmospheric data to calculate each participant’s daily exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) — tiny particles suspended in the air that when inhaled deposit in the terminal sacs of the lung.

Fine PM originates from fuel combustion, including traffic, power plants, and other pollution sources, the researcher said.

Also Read: U.S. Tobacco Companies Must Put New Warnings on Packaging, Court Says 

The research team also examined children’s daily exposure to soot, a component of fine PM also known as black carbon.

The researchers found that traffic-related pollutants appeared to increase asthma risk in childhood.

“Lifetime exposure to black carbon and fine PM were also linked to the asthma in early childhood (ages three to five years), but in mid-childhood (ages seven to 10 years), these pollutants were associated with asthma only among girls,” the researcher noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Vitamin D Can Help to Control Asthma, Says Study

Importantly, the findings showed that the effects were most pronounced among obese children

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Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor
Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor. Pixabay

Besides making bones strong, higher levels of Vitamin D can also help children with asthma to become more resilient to harmful respiratory effects caused by indoor air pollution, say researchers including one of an Indian-origin.

“Asthma is an immune-mediated disease,” said lead author Sonali Bose, Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“From previous scientific studies we knew that vitamin D was a molecule that may influence asthma by impacting antioxidant or immune-related pathways,” she added.

The researchers observed that having low blood vitamin D levels was related to harmful respiratory effects of indoor air pollution from sources such as cigarette smoke, cooking, burning of candles, and incense, among children with asthma.

Conversely, in homes that had the highest indoor air pollution, higher blood vitamin D levels were associated with fewer asthma symptoms in children.

asthama-in-kids
The study provides new insight that could help us predict and manage diseases like asthma – which are a significant public health burden. IANS

Importantly, the findings showed that the effects were most pronounced among obese children, Bose said.

“This highlights a third factor at play here – the obesity epidemic – and helps bring that risk to light when considering individual susceptibility to asthma.”

For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the researchers tested three factors — air pollution levels in homes, blood vitamin D levels, and asthma symptoms — in 120 schoolchildren with pre-existing asthma. One-third of the children were obese.

Also Read- Goa Police Ensures Strict Monitoring of Cash Transactions at Goa Casinos Ahead of Polls

“One way to increase blood vitamin D levels is to increase sun exposure, but that isn’t always possible in urban environments, or in people with darker skin pigmentation,” Bose said.

“Another way is through dietary supplements or eating more foods that are high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, mushrooms, or foods fortified with vitamin D, such as bread, orange juice, or milk.” (IANS)