The TAHS (formerly the Tasmanian Asthma Survey) is a collaboration between the Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania, University of Melbourne and Monash University. Senior Member of the Respiratory Research Group at the Menzies Prof. Haydn Walters said the study, which originated in Tasmania, aims to provide a better understanding of the factors that affect the respiratory health of the community.
“The study is now the world’s largest and longest running research study on respiratory health and one of the most significant community and family studies on respiratory diseases such as asthma,” Prof. Walters said.
“The TAHS started in 1968 by surveying all 8,500 children born in Tasmania in 1961 through schools across the State.
“In this next phase of the study we are hoping to contact all the brothers and sisters of those original 8,500 children which will allow us to study different children from the same family.
“Brothers and sisters share some of their genes but they also share their childhood environments.
“Studying siblings is a very important way to identify how diseases group within families. It also allows us to dissect out influences of both genes and the environment in the development of respiratory disease, and also in the maintenance of good lung function and health into middle age.
“Questionnaires will be sent later this month to all the brothers and sisters of the original TAHS participants. So if you have a brother or sister who was born in 1961 then keep your eye out for our questionnaire. We are hoping that everyone will get on board and support this important ground breaking research.
“We are asking everyone who receives a questionnaire to complete and return it. It’s very important that as many people participate in this survey as possible, even if they don’t have respiratory problems. Indeed, what keeps people well is just as important as what makes them sick!
“Results from the original and follow up surveys have contributed to a number of medical findings, including that one in ten people who were asthma-free as a child will develop asthma later on and that one quarter of children with asthma still have asthma at the age of 32. Another important finding was that obese seven year old girls have three times the risk of developing new asthma as adults, as normal weight girls do. ”
The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania (AFT) CEO Cathy Beswick said the AFT was one of the sponsors of the original survey in 1968 and also recently provided the TAHS with $50,000 of additional funds to continue the laboratory follow-up of the original participants. The follow-up sibling study is being funded by a $852,563 grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
“The AFT views this study as a vital key in understanding asthma and other respiratory disorders and then what treatments are most appropriate,” Mrs Beswick said.
“The Asthma Foundation is honoured to have contributed to supporting such an important study that has been running for almost 40 years all the way back to 1968. We look forward to the outcomes of the follow-up studies including that of the siblings of those originally involved.
“We hope the ongoing TAHS will provide a detailed description of respiratory health and disease in the ageing Tasmanian population.”
TAHS Researcher and Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne Dr Shyamali Dharmage said that studying siblings provides a very powerful way to tease out whether it is our genes, or our environments which are the most important factors in developing diseases such as asthma.
“We can look at siblings who both had asthma as children but only one continues to have asthma as an adult. We can then determine what are the differences, during either childhood or adulthood that have contributed to this change in disease status,” Dr Dharmage said.
“The TAHS is unique internationally because it is the largest and longest running respiratory health study in the world. Additionally TAHS is the only study that was originally a family study with all the family members and the family environment being surveyed at baseline. The TAHS team is very excited about the possible contribution this study can make to the understanding of respiratory diseases internationally.
“This study will provide answers to what are the most important factors that contribute to changes in respiratory health from childhood to middle-age. It will enable us in the future to target intervention strategies and therapies more effectively with the ultimate goal of preventing some important respiratory diseases.”
Lucinda Bray | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences