Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parental Stress And Air Pollution Linked To Children’s Risk For Developing Asthma

Date:
July 22, 2009
Source:
University of Southern California Health Sciences
Summary:
Children with stressed out parents may be more susceptible to developing asthma associated with environmental triggers such as high levels of traffic-related pollution and tobacco smoke, according to a new study.

Children with stressed out parents may be more susceptible to developing asthma associated with environmental triggers such as high levels of traffic-related pollution and tobacco smoke, according to a new study led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

According to the study that appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the risk of asthma associated with traffic-related pollution was significantly higher for children of parents reporting high levels of stress. Stress, as well as low parental education, was also associated with larger effects of exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy.

“We found that it was children exposed to the combination of air pollution and life in a stressful environment who were at highest risk of developing asthma,” says principal investigator Rob McConnell, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Deputy Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at USC.

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness in developed countries and has been linked to environmental factors. The study drew upon data from the USC Children’s Health Study, a longitudinal study of respiratory health among children in 13 southern California communities.

Researchers followed 2,497 children with no history of respiratory problems over three years, tracking whether they developed asthma starting in kindergarten or first grade. They also measured parental stress and parental education—as an indicator of socioeconomic status—using a questionnaire, and collected information on exposure to traffic-related pollution and whether the children had been exposed to tobacco smoke in utero.

The results showed that parental stress alone did not increase the risk that children would develop asthma. However, when children had a combination of parents with stressful lives and also lived near high levels of traffic-related pollution, their risk of asthma increased compared with children only exposed to pollution.

“Air pollution can promote inflammatory responses in the airways of the lung, which is a central feature of asthma,” McConnell says. “Stress may also have pro-inflammatory effects and this may help explain why the two exposures together were important.”

Children whose parents perceived their lives as unpredictable, uncontrollable, or overwhelming were susceptible to the effects of pollution, the authors noted. Stress associated with poverty may help explain why asthma rates are often higher in lower socioeconomic status communities.

“Childhood asthma is a complex disease that probably has many contributing causes,” McConnell says. “Further study of effects of exposure to air pollution in combination with stressful environments associated with poverty and other social factors could contribute to our understanding of why the disease develops.”

The study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Cancer Institute, the Hastings Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Shankardass, Rob McConnell, M. Jerrett, J. Milam, J. Richardson, and K. Berhane. Parental stress increases the effect of traffic-related air pollution on childhood asthma incidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812910106

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California Health Sciences. "Parental Stress And Air Pollution Linked To Children’s Risk For Developing Asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720215426.htm>.
University of Southern California Health Sciences. (2009, July 22). Parental Stress And Air Pollution Linked To Children’s Risk For Developing Asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720215426.htm
University of Southern California Health Sciences. "Parental Stress And Air Pollution Linked To Children’s Risk For Developing Asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090720215426.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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