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National Jewish Research Looks To Air Pollution For Clues Of Future Asthma Attacks

Date:
January 10, 2000
Source:
National Jewish Medical And Research Center
Summary:
Learning how much time a child has between a significant increase in air pollution and the start of a severe asthma attack could help doctors throughout the United States better treat their pediatric patients.
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Air Pollution Research at National Jewish Medical and Research Center may Give Clues to Childhood Asthma Attacks Before They Happen

DENVER -- Learning how much time a child has between a significant increase in air pollution and the start of a severe asthma attack could help doctors throughout the United States better treat their pediatric patients.

In a two year, $220,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant, National Jewish Medical and Research Center pediatric asthma specialist Nathan Rabinovitch, M.D., seeks to learn how spikes in air pollution may impact children with severe asthma who live in the inner city. By monitoring changes in air quality, doctors could be able to anticipate asthma attacks hours or days in advance.

“We hope to determine the amount of time between a sharp rise in pollution levels and the start of the kids’ asthma symptoms,” Dr. Rabinovitch said. “So far, studies have not been consistent in identifying how long this takes. If we find, for example, the lag time is five days, in that time we can run tests to see what body mechanisms are affected. This will give us an idea where to go with further research and treatment options.”

About 5.3 million children in the United States and 67,000 in Colorado have asthma, which is responsible for 10 million lost school days each year. Asthma prevalence in non-Hispanic Blacks is almost twice as high as that reported by non-Hispanic Whites, according to the American Lung Association. Black children are three times as likely as Whites to be hospitalized for asthma treatment, according to the group.

“The quality of asthma medications has increased, but childhood asthma continues to get worse and more children are dying,” Dr. Rabinovitch said. “Minorities do worse than Caucasians in the inner-city; minorities outside the inner-city do much better controlling asthma.”

The EPA bases air quality on particulate matter (PM) 10 micrometers in size. Congress is now considering whether to establish a much smaller particulate size, PM 2.5 micrometers, as the standard. These microscopic particulates, including dust, diesel and gasoline exhaust, and plant pollens, are small enough to enter the lungs and trigger asthma attacks in some children. Other triggers of the lung disease include cockroaches, smoke and perfume.


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Materials provided by National Jewish Medical And Research Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

National Jewish Medical And Research Center. "National Jewish Research Looks To Air Pollution For Clues Of Future Asthma Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107174912.htm>.
National Jewish Medical And Research Center. (2000, January 10). National Jewish Research Looks To Air Pollution For Clues Of Future Asthma Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107174912.htm
National Jewish Medical And Research Center. "National Jewish Research Looks To Air Pollution For Clues Of Future Asthma Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000107174912.htm (accessed June 18, 2024).

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