Print Edition - 2019-05-30  |  Health and Living

Air quality and childhood asthma

  • Pollution woes

May 30, 2019-

Childhood asthma rates appear to be dropping in many communities across southern California, and a new study suggests this may be due at least in part to improved air quality. Air pollution has long been linked to an increased risk of severe asthma attacks for people who already have the breathing disorder.

But research to date hasn’t offered as clear a picture of how much reducing levels of toxic chemicals in the air might help stop asthma from developing at all.

For the current study, researchers followed 4,140 kids without asthma for eight years, starting in 1993 when children were in fourth grade and typically around 9 to 10 years old. Regional air pollution levels generally declined during the study period, with decreases in nitrogen dioxide, ozone gasses and fine particulate matter, researchers report in JAMA.

Asthma rates also dropped. While 2.7 new asthma cases were diagnosed annually per 100 kids in the first cohort (1993-2001), this dropped to 1.8 cases a year per 100 kids by the last cohort (2006-2014).

—Reuters

Published: 30-05-2019 10:58

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