Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exhaust Fumes And Genetic Predisposition Increase Childhood Asthma Risk

Date:
August 23, 2007
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Children who carry variations in specific genes that metabolize vehicle emissions are more susceptible to developing asthma, particularly if they live near major roadways, a new study suggests. Researchers found that children who carried variations in two genes and lived within 75 meters of a major road were up to nine times more likely to develop asthma than children who lived further away.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, and previous studies have shown that traffic-related pollution near the home increases asthma risk and reduces lung growth, according to USC experts.
Credit: iStockphoto/Rob Hill

Children who carry variations in specific genes that metabolize vehicle emissions are more susceptible to developing asthma, particularly if they live near major roadways, a study led by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) suggests.

Researchers found that children who carried variations in two genes and lived within 75 meters of a major road were up to nine times more likely to develop asthma than children who lived further away, says Muhammad T. Salam, Ph.D. candidate at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and the study's lead author.

"This is one of the first studies to report that children with certain genetic backgrounds are even more susceptible to asthma than if they lived near major roads and did not carry the variations," Salam says. "We are working to understand how traffic-related exposures may interact with these genes, leading to asthma development."

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, and previous studies have shown that traffic-related pollution near the home increases asthma risk and reduces lung growth, according to USC experts.

Researchers drew upon data from the Children's Health Study (CHS), a longitudinal study of respiratory health among school-age children in 12 Southern California communities. They compared associations between number of genetic variants and exposure to toxins among more than 3,000 study participants.

Researchers found that high levels of microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1)--an enzyme that metabolizes polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in vehicle emissions--was associated with an increased risk for lifetime asthma. Children with high EPHX1 levels who also carried variations in glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) genes were four times more likely to have asthma.

Among children who lived within 75 meters of a major road, those with high EPHX1 activity were three times more likely to have asthma than those with lower activity. Children who carried both variations and lived within 75 meters of a major road were at the highest asthma risk. The results were consistent for current, early and late onset asthma.

"This finding demonstrates the critical role of gene environment interaction in determining disease susceptibility," says David A. Schwartz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "The investigators at USC have identified key genetic variations in biological pathways related to PAH metabolism that are associated with the occurrence of asthma in children who live in close proximity to traffic."

Approximately 12 percent of children in the study carried both of the variations and three percent were in the highest risk group based on where they lived. However, there are a number of genes that could be linked with asthma, and researchers are just beginning to study the associations between genes and environmental factors, Salam says.

"It is difficult to say that if parents with an asthmatic child move further from busy streets, the child will definitely have fewer symptoms," he explains. "All that can be said at this moment is that data from this and other studies show strong evidence that living near heavy traffic increases asthma risks and exacerbates symptoms in children who already have asthma."

Funding for this study came from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the California Air Resources Board and the Hastings Foundation.

The study will appear in the journal Thorax, and may be available online.

Muhammad T. Salam, Pi-Chu Lin, Edward L. Avol, W. James Gauderman, Frank D. Gilliland, "Microsomal Epoxide Hydrolase, Glutathione S-transferase P1, Traffic and Childhood Asthma." Thorax, 2007; doi: 10.1136/thx.2007.080127.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Exhaust Fumes And Genetic Predisposition Increase Childhood Asthma Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820194635.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2007, August 23). Exhaust Fumes And Genetic Predisposition Increase Childhood Asthma Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820194635.htm
University of Southern California. "Exhaust Fumes And Genetic Predisposition Increase Childhood Asthma Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820194635.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins