Tuesday June 19, 2018

According To Study, Ozone Exposure At Birth May Up Asthma Risk

Exposure to ozone (O3) -- a common air pollutant -- at birth may increase the risk of developing asthma by age three, a new study suggests.

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Exposure to ozone (O3) — a common air pollutant — at birth may increase the risk of developing asthma by age three, a new study suggests.

The study, presented at the 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference, showed that 31 per cent of the participants developed asthma, 42 per cent had allergic rhinitis and 76 per cent had eczema.

“Our findings show that the hazard ratios for ozone measured at birth as a single pollutant showed statistically significant higher risks for development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema,” said lead author Teresa To from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Canada.

The study also found that 82 per cent higher risk of developing asthma was associated with each 10 parts per billion (ppb), or ppb increase in exposure to ozone at birth.

For the study, 1,881 children were recruited who were followed from birth to 17 years of age, on average.

Childhood asthma can trigger COPD in later life. IANS

 

According to the researchers, children are at a higher risk because their lungs and other respiratory organs are smaller, and they spend more time in outdoor physical activities that make them breathe faster and more deeply.

The research team took annual average concentrations of pollutants from fixed monitoring stations.

Development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema were determined based on any records of health services used for these conditions.

The researchers adjusted for variables such as parental history of asthma and early home exposure to pollutants.

Earlier, some studies have shown that ozone depletes antioxidant activity and increases indications of inflammation in the respiratory tract fluid lining and affects lung growth.

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

“Air pollution isn’t only one or a few countries’ problems, but rather a global public health concern,” said To, also a professor at the University of Toronto.

“While there are individual actions one can consider to reduce exposure to air pollutants, it also requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and international levels,” she noted. (IANS)

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Have Asthma? Don’t Shy Away From Your Doctor

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings

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

Can’t find relief from asthma symptoms? Grill your doctor frequently to better understand your problem, says a study.

In order for asthma treatment to be effective, patients need to increase communication with their physicians, said researchers.

“When patients do not understand their condition or treatment plan, they may not follow life-saving guidelines, putting them at increased risk for asthma attacks,” said allergist and article author Stanley Fineman, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Fineman noted that only eight to 13 percent of asthma sufferers continue to refill inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions after one year.

Taken early and as directed, these inhalers can improve asthma control, normalise lung function and even prevent irreversible injury to airways, said the study published in the journal titled Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings.

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

Several of them do not manage their condition as advised, which can lead to increased asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

“Allergists need to communicate the importance of continuing medication, and patients should express any concerns they might have, such as taking medication in public, since there are often solutions,” said allergist Alan Baptist, an ACAAI member and senior study author.

According to the study, many of young asthma sufferers said they stopped using prescribed medication when symptoms subsided.

Also Read: Human Touch Can Rehabilitate Patients

Although symptoms can become better with time, asthma is a chronic illness. Unless directed by a physician, asthma patients should never change or discontinue preventive medications.

Asthma is a serious disease and discontinuing treatment can be dangerous. “Sufferers need to be sure they regularly take medication and that all of their concerns are being addressed,” added Fineman.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. (IANS)