Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Respiratory Infections, Not Air Pollution, Pose Winter Health Threat for Children with Asthma

09.11.2004


Although particulate air pollution has been blamed for a wide variety of negative health effects, a three-year study of asthmatic children in Denver, published in the November Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, indicates that it does not lead to significant worsening of asthma during the pollution-heavy winter months. Upper respiratory infections, however, were associated with a significant decline in lung function, asthma symptoms and asthma exacerbations.



"In our study, wintertime air pollution had no significant effect on asthma exacerbations or lung function," said Nathan Rabinovitch, M.D., a lead author of the study and pediatric allergist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. "Upper respiratory infections, however, doubled the chances that a child would suffer an asthma exacerbation and more than quadrupled the odds that a child would suffer asthma symptoms."

The study monitored 41, 63 and 43 elementary school children during three successive winters in Denver, Colorado, when particulate pollution is worst. The children, aged 6 to 12 years, were mostly urban minority children with moderate to severe asthma. Dr. Rabinovitch and co-investigator Erwin Gelfand, M.D., Chairman of Pediatrics at National Jewish, monitored several health outcomes in the children, including asthma exacerbations, visits to emergency rooms and hospitalizations. They also monitored the children’s lung function, medication use, asthma symptoms, and whether they had upper respiratory infections.


The researchers correlated those health measures with daily variations in six air pollutants: particulates less than 10 microns in diameter, particulates less than 2.5 microns diameter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone. In general pollutants were comparable to levels found in most large American cities.

As expected, the raw data did show worse health associated with high pollution days. But when the researchers controlled for potential time-related confounders, such as upper respiratory infections, the correlation disappeared on almost all measures. Higher carbon monoxide levels were marginally associated with increased use of rescue medications (odds ratio: 1.065) and daily symptoms were marginally associated with ozone levels (odds ratio: 1.083). "It is well known that upper respiratory infections can cause problems for people with asthma, but the air pollutions results were a surprise," said Dr. Gelfand. "We believe that careful monitoring of the children allowed us to filter out confounding factors that would have mistakenly suggested a significant health impact of air pollution."

The researchers are not ready to write off the effects of air pollution during summer. For one, children may be exposed to higher levels of air pollution in the summer because they spend more time outside. Also, ozone, a known respiratory irritant, rises to much higher levels during the summer and may pose more of a problem than particulate pollution in the winter. Next summer Drs. Rabinovitch and Gelfand will begin a study of the health impacts of ozone on children with asthma.

"We believe this is good news for parents of children with asthma," said Rabinovitch. "Instead of worrying about air pollution they can focus their efforts on preventing and treating the real wintertime threat to their children’s health - colds and other respiratory infections."

William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.njc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>