Kids living near highways have higher asthma risk

Monday, May 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - Children who lived near major highways or railroad intersections have higher diagnoses of asthma, says a new study.

Mayo Clinic researchers used this study to show how neighbourhood environment is a risk factor in understanding the development of paediatric asthma.

“Using nearest propensity score, children who lived in census tracts facing the intersection with major highways or railways had about 40 to 70 percent increased risk of developing childhood asthma,” says Young Juhn, Mayo Clinic’s Department of Community Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

“What this tells us is that clinicians need to be concerned about neighbourhood environment beyond home environment to understand the individual asthma case,” adds Juhn.

Researchers studied 3,970 people born between 1976 and 1979. Of the 1,947 subjects living in census tracts that faced intersections, 6.4 percent developed asthma, while 4.5 percent of those living in census tracts not facing intersections developed asthma.

Juhn and his colleagues are currently conducting research that looks at the influence of neighbourhood environment on other disease outcomes, says a Mayo Clinic release.

The study appeared in a recent edition of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Filed under: Environment, Medicine, World

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