Wednesday June 19, 2019

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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Medical Doctors With a Caring Heart
Medical Doctors With a Caring Heart. Pixabay

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)

Next Story

High Costs Preventing People to Take Vital Asthma Medication

The results were published in the journal JACI : In Practice

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Out-of-pocket costs are preventing many people from taking vital asthma medication, says a new study, calling for urgent interventions to promote discussions between patients and doctors about the cost of medicines to treat asthma.

The most commonly prescribed preventer treatments for asthma contain inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) which, if taken regularly, reduce the severity of the disease and the number of asthma-related deaths, said the researchers.

According to reports, at least one in every 10 asthma patient globally lives in India and the economic costs associated with asthma exceed those of TB and HIV/AIDS combined.

To reach this conclusion, researchers led by The George Institute for Global Health and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research at UNSW Sydney, surveyed 1,400 people with asthma in Australia and found that half of the adults and one-third of the children in the study were either decreasing or skipping doses of asthma medicines to make them last longer.

“We know that preventer inhalers can be incredibly effective at controlling symptoms and preventing people from being hospitalised or even from dying of asthma, yet our study has found that out-of-pocket costs are preventing many from accessing medicines which can be life-saving,” said senior research fellow Tracey-Lea Laba of The George Institute.

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

The study found that young male adults were the most likely to under-use asthma treatments.

This was compounded by doctors being largely unaware that out-of-pocket costs were a significant concern for many of their patients, or that some preventers had lower out-of-pocket costs for patients than others.

According to fellow study author Professor Helen Reddel of the Woolcock Institute at UNSW Sydney, asthma is a long-term disease and one where people really need to keep the inflammation under control by taking a preventative medicine and not just relying on short-term symptom relief from a blue inhaler.

Also Read- Researchers to Develop Wearable Devices to Help People with Mobility Issues Walk

“We need doctors to talk to their patients to stress that this Band-Aid approach does not work, and can leave them hospitalised or even worse as a result,” said Reddel.

The results were published in the journal JACI : In Practice. (IANS)