Friday April 19, 2019

Grass Pollen in the Atmosphere Can Help Predict Hay Fever, Asthma

For this, they are examining hospital and GP records and seeing if demand for these services involving asthma and rhinitis correlates with the presence of one grass species over another

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The presence of different strains of grass pollen in the atmosphere can help predict when hay fever and asthma could strike, researchers have found.

A team led by the University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, tracked grass pollen for seasonal variations and found it was released into the atmosphere later in areas further from the equator.

“Using this method, we may be able to better predict when allergenic pollen is present and allow people affected by asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rhinitis to more effectively manage their condition,” said Nicholas Osborne, Associate Professor at UQ’s School of Public Health.

“(And) with the advent of personalized medicine, more and more people are becoming aware of which allergen is responsible for their allergy,” Osborne said.

He said the research would help allergy sufferers prepare for the hay fever season and doctors to prescribe more personalised treatments.

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

“People who fail to manage their asthma are at greater risk of an asthma attack and being forced to visit hospital emergency departments,” Osborne said.

“Having a more accurate forecast of when a patient is at risk will allow people to better manage their disease.”

Scientists hope to expand on the research to create a unique profile of each grass pollen species to determine the most harmful strains.

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For this, they are examining hospital and GP records and seeing if demand for these services involving asthma and rhinitis correlates with the presence of one grass species over another.

“Eventually – possibly within three to four years – we hope this will allow us to produce a better forecast of when and where exposure to pollen occurs,” Osborne added. (IANS)

Next Story

Car Pollution: The Cause of Asthma Among Over 350,000 Children in India

South Korea (31 per cent) had the highest proportion of traffic pollution-attributable childhood asthma incidence. The UK ranked 24th of the 194 countries, the US 25th, China 19th, and India 58th

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odd even scheme

Traffic pollution caused asthma among 350,000 children in India, the second largest after China, in 2015, finds a Lancet study that analysed 194 countries.

The study, published in the Lancet Planetary Health, found that the largest number of cases (760,000) of traffic pollution-related asthma were in China.

It could be because China has the second largest population of children and the third highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is an indicator of traffic pollution.

India had the next largest number of cases (350,000) due to its large population of children, said researchers from the George Washington University in the US. The US (240,000), Indonesia (160,000) and Brazil (140,000) had the next largest burdens.

“Our findings suggest millions of new cases of paediatric asthma could be prevented in cities around the world by reducing air pollution,” said Susan C. Anenberg, Associate Professor at the George Washington University in the US.

Car emissions contribute to global climate change. Pixabay

Globally, the study suggests there are 170 new cases of traffic pollution-related asthma per 100,000 children every year, and 13 per cent of childhood asthma cases diagnosed each year are linked to traffic pollution.

South Korea (31 per cent) had the highest proportion of traffic pollution-attributable childhood asthma incidence. The UK ranked 24th of the 194 countries, the US 25th, China 19th, and India 58th.

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India ranks below other countries for this metric because although levels of other pollutants (particularly PM2.5) in the country are among the highest in the world, NO2 levels (between 2010 and 2012) in Indian cities appear to be lower than or comparable with European and US cities, the researchers said.

“Improving access to cleaner forms of transportation, like electric public transport and active commuting by cycling and walking, would not only lower NO2 levels but would also reduce asthma, enhance physical fitness and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Anenberg said. (IANS)