Monday May 21, 2018

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
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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.

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)

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Asthma In Childhood Can Trigger COPD Later: Lancet

Interventions to maximise lung growth in early childhood might modify the risk of COPD in older age, they noted

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Children with asthma uses inhaler to relieve some of the symptoms. Wikimedia Commons

While smoking remains the biggest risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), childhood illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis and eczema also amplify the disease, say researchers.

Three-quarters of COPD cases have their origins in poor lung function pathways beginning in childhood, according to a cohort study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

Asthma can cause severe damage to one’s lungs. VOA

A second study in the journal suggests that there could be a window of opportunity during childhood to reduce the risk of poor lung function in later life.

“These findings highlight the importance of preventing both early life adverse exposures that could lead to poorer lung growth and adult risk factors contributing to accelerated lung decline,” says Professor Shyamali Dharmage from School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia. COPD is expected to be the third-largest cause of death globally by 2030. “It is important that we identify its key causes so that this burden can be reduced,” Dharmage added.

Also Read: Smoking during pregnancy linked to asthma severity in kids

Childhood asthma can trigger COPD in later life. IANS

Reduction of maternal smoke exposure and personal smoking and promotion of immunisation are identified as public health targets to prevent poor lung function pathways.

“Doctors and patients with asthma should be made aware of the potential long-term implications of non-optimal asthma control throughout life, and this should be investigated in future research,” the study authors noted. In the first study, 2,438 participants from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (Australia) were tracked from childhood to the age of 53.

In the second study, 2,632 participants were tracked from birth to 24 years old and their lung function was measured. In the second study, the authors found that around three-quarters of infants aged one to six months with poor lung function improved throughout their childhood, indicating a window of opportunity to increase lung function and potentially reduce risk of COPD in later life.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Earlier smoking was the most common cause of COPD. Pixabay

Interventions to maximise lung growth in early childhood might modify the risk of COPD in older age, they noted. IANS

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