Tag Archives: asthma

University of Exeter study: Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighborhoods

19 Nov

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe how to tell if you have asthma:

How Can You Tell if You Have Asthma?
It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.
During a checkup, the doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night, and whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will also ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. They will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, and they will ask questions about your home. The doctor will also ask if you have missed school or work and about any trouble you may have doing certain things.
The doctor will also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working. The doctor will use a computer with a mouthpiece to test how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath. The spirometer can measure airflow before and after you use asthma medicine.
What Is an Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways, which are the paths that carry air to your lungs. As the air moves through your lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways even more.
You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that cause an attack, and following your doctor’s advice. When you control your asthma:
• you won’t have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing,
• you’ll sleep better,
• you won’t miss work or school,
• you can take part in all physical activities, and
• you won’t have to go to the hospital.
What Causes an Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to “asthma triggers”. Your triggers can be very different from those of someone else with asthma. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you can’t avoid the triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, and smoke from burning wood or grass…. http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm

Urban trees can affect the quality of life and health.

The Nature Conservancy published How Urban Trees Can Save Lives:

The Planting Healthy Air report documents which cities stand to benefit most from tree plantings, in terms of both heat and PM reduction, and how much investment would be required to achieve meaningful benefits.
The analysis found that investing just US$4 per resident in each of these cities in tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions.
Most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities—as well as those with higher overall pollution levels—tend to see the highest overall return on investment (ROI) from tree plantings…. https://global.nature.org/content/healthyair

Exeter University reported that asthma attacks were reduced in tree-lined urban areas.

Science Daily reported in Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighborhoods:

People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighbourhood, a study by the University of Exeter’s medical school has found.
The study into the impact of urban greenery on asthma suggests that respiratory health can be improved by the expansion of tree cover in very polluted urban neighbourhoods.
The study, published in the journal Environment International, looked at more than 650,000 serious asthma attacks over a 15 year period. Emergency hospitalisations were compared across 26,000 urban neighbourhoods in England.
In the most polluted urban areas, trees had a particularly strong association with fewer emergency asthma cases. In relatively unpolluted urban neighbourhoods trees did not have the same impact.
In a typical urban area with a high level of background air pollution — for example, around 15 micrograms of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) per cubic metre, or a nitrogen dioxide concentration around 33 micrograms per cubic metre — an extra 300 trees per square kilometre was associated with around 50 fewer emergency asthma cases per 100,000 residents over the 15 year study period.
The findings could have important implications for planning and public health policy, and suggest that tree planting could play a role in reducing the effects of air pollution from cars.
Over 5.4 million people receive treatment for asthma in the UK with an annual cost to the NHS of around £1 billion. 18 per cent of adults report asthma in the previous 12 months, and a quarter of 13-14 year olds report symptoms. Asthma causes over a thousand deaths a year.
The study led by Dr Ian Alcock, research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Medical School, found that trees and green space were both related to a decrease in people admitted to hospital with asthma…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171117103814.htm

Citation:

Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighborhoods
Date: November 17, 2017
Source: University of Exeter
Summary:
People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighborhood, a new study has found.
Journal Reference:
1. Ian Alcock, Mathew White, Mark Cherrie, Benedict Wheeler, Jonathon Taylor, Rachel McInnes, Eveline Otte im Kampe, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Christophe Sarran, Ireneous Soyiri, Lora Fleming. Land cover and air pollution are associated with asthma hospitalisations: A cross-sectional study. Environment International, 2017; 109: 29 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.08.009

Here is the press release from the University of Exeter:

Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighbourhoods
People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighbourhood, a study by the University of Exeter’s medical school has found.
The study into the impact of urban greenery on asthma suggests that respiratory health can be improved by the expansion of tree cover in very polluted urban neighbourhoods.
The study, published in the journal Environment International, looked at more than 650,000 serious asthma attacks over a 15 year period. Emergency hospitalisations were compared across 26,000 urban neighbourhoods in England.
In the most polluted urban areas, trees had a particularly strong association with fewer emergency asthma cases. In relatively unpolluted urban neighbourhoods trees did not have the same impact.
In a typical urban area with a high level of background air pollution – for example, around 15 micrograms of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) per cubic metre, or a nitrogen dioxide concentration around 33 micrograms per cubic metre – an extra 300 trees per square kilometre was associated with around 50 fewer emergency asthma cases per 100,000 residents over the 15 year study period.
The findings could have important implications for planning and public health policy, and suggest that tree planting could play a role in reducing the effects of air pollution from cars.
Over 5.4 million people receive treatment for asthma in the UK with an annual cost to the NHS of around £1 billion. 18 per cent of adults report asthma in the previous 12 months, and a quarter of 13-14 year olds report symptoms. Asthma causes over a thousand deaths a year.
The study led by Dr Ian Alcock, research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Medical School, found that trees and green space were both related to a decrease in people admitted to hospital with asthma.
Dr Alcock said:
“We wanted to clarify how urban vegetation may be related to respiratory health. We know that trees remove the air pollutants which can bring on asthma attacks, but in some situations they can also cause localised build-ups of particulates by preventing their dispersion by wind. And vegetation can also produce allergenic pollen which exacerbates asthma.
We found that on balance, urban vegetation appears to do significantly more good than harm. However, effects were not equal everywhere. Greenspace and gardens were associated with reductions in asthma hospitalisation at lower pollutant levels, but not in the most polluted urban areas. With trees it was the other way round. It may be that grass pollens become more allergenic when combined with air pollutants so that the benefits of greenspace diminish as pollution increases. In contrast, trees can effectively remove pollutants from the air, and this may explain why they appear to be most beneficial where concentrations are high.”
Co-author Dr Rachel McInnes, Senior Climate Impacts Scientist at the Met Office, added: “This finding that the effects of different types of vegetation – green space and gardens, and tree cover – differ at both very high and very low air pollution levels is particularly relevant for public health and urban planning policies. We also know that the interaction between pollen and air pollution, and the effect on health and asthma is highly complex and this study confirms that more research is required in this area. Large collaborative research projects, like this from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health are a very effective way to carry out this type of cross-disciplinary work.”
Date: 17 November 2017 http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/university/title_622600_en.html

Pascal Mittermaier wrote in Why Plant Trees in Cities? Because They Protect Our Most Vulnerable Residents:

So how do we make cities cooler and healthier? Urban planners and public health officials are grappling with the best way to approach this issue. But there’s one solution we can implement now: plant more trees. Trees and other vegetation naturally cool the air around them by shading surfaces and releasing water vapor. While the effects are local—most of the improvement is within 100 meters—they can still be meaningful, reducing temperatures by up to 2°C.
Trees also provide another significant public health benefit: they reduce fine particulate matter air pollution, a problem that contributes to 5 percent of all deaths worldwide each year. Our organization, The Nature Conservancy, has carried out a study of 245 cities around the world that stand to benefit from tree-planting initiatives, assessing their efficiency and return on investment. Compared to other ways to cool outdoor air temperatures and reduce fine particle matter, trees deliver similar benefits per dollar spent—and, planting trees is the only intervention that addresses both air pollution and heat…. https://newcities.org/perspectives-why-plant-trees-in-cities-because-they-protect-our-most-vulnerable-residents/

One program which all residents of urban areas can participate is the planting of urban trees and encouraging public officials to expand and protect tree canopy.

Resources:

Asthma.com
http://www.asthma.com/additional-resources.html

Asthma Health Center
http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-support-resources

Asthma Resources
http://www.webmd.com/asthma/asthma-resources

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University of Bergen study: Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring

3 Oct

There are numerous reasons why smoking is considered bad for an individual and there are numerous research studies which list the reasons. Studies are showing how bad second hand smoke is for children. A MNT article, Smoking During Pregnancy May Lower Your Child’s Reading Scores:

Babies born to mothers who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day while pregnant have lower reading scores and a harder time with reading tests, compared with children whose mothers do not smoke.
This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Pediatrics in November 2012. The reading tests measured how well children read out loud and understood what they were reading.

This isn’t the first study to suggest that smoking in pregnancy may affect a child’s future health and development. A study released in August 2012 said that smoking during pregnancy increases a child’s risk of asthma. In addition, a 2009 study linked smoking during pregnancy to behavioral problems among 3 and 4 year olds boys…. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253100.php

An Inserm and Pierre and Marie Curie University study adds behavior problems to the list of woes children of smokers suffer.

Science Daily reported in Early exposure to tobacco can cause behavioral problems in children:

Researchers from Inserm and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), in collaboration with the university hospitals of 6 French cities, have analysed data on pre- and postnatal exposure to tobacco in the homes of 5,200 primary school children. They show that this exposure is associated with a risk of behavioural disorders in children, particularly emotional and conduct disorders. The association is stronger when exposure takes place both during pregnancy and after birth. These data show the risk associated with smoking in early life and its behavioural repercussions when the child is of school-going age.These results are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The consequences of tobacco exposure are widely documented. It leads to many illnesses, including asthma. However, the potential role of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is much less well known in terms of its link to behavioural problems in children. In this context, the team led by Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Inserm Research Director at Unit 1136, “Pierre Louis Public Health Institute” (Inserm/UPMC) examined the association between pre- and postnatal ETS exposure and behavioural problems in children….

These observations seem to confirm those carried out in animals, i.e. that the nicotine contained in tobacco smoke may have a neurotoxic effect on the brain. During pregnancy, nicotine in tobacco smoke stimulates acetylcholine receptors, and causes structural changes in the brain. In the first months of life, exposure to tobacco smoke generates a protein imbalance that leads to altered neuronal growth….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150928103029.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Steven Reinberg reported in the Health Day article, Secondhand Smoke in Infancy May Harm Kids’ Teeth.  http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/cavities-and-dental-news-118/secondhand-smoke-in-infancy-may-harm-kids-teeth-704482.html

Science Daily reported in Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring:

A Norwegian study shows that asthma is three times more common in those who had a father who smoked in adolescence than offspring who didn’t.

It is well known that a mother’s environment plays a key role in child health. However, recent research, including more than 24,000 offspring, suggests that this may also be true for fathers.

“Offspring with a father who smoked only prior to conception had over three times more early-onset asthma than those whose father had never smoked,” says Professor Cecilie Svanes at the Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen (UiB).

Early debut increases risk

The study shows that both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This is equally true with mutual adjustment, and adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked and years since quitting smoking.

“The greatest increased risk for their children having asthma was found for fathers having their smoking debut before age 15. Interestingly, time of quitting before conception was not independently associated with offspring asthma,” Svanes says.

Smoking fathers may influence gene control in children

Concerning mother’s smoking, the research found more offspring asthma if the mother smoked around pregnancy, consistent with previous studies. However, no effect of maternal smoking only prior to conception was identified. The difference from father’s smoking suggests effects through male sperm cells.

“Smoking is known to cause genetic and epigenetic damage to spermatozoa, which are transmissible to offspring and have the potential to induce developmental abnormalities,” explains Svanes.

It is previously known that nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring. Father’s lifestyle and age appear, however, to be reflected in molecules that control gene function.

“There is growing evidence from animal studies for so called epigenetic programming, a mechanism whereby the father’s environment before conception could impact on the health of future generations,” Svanes says….                                                                                                       https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160928135903.htm

Citation:

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring

Date:         September 28, 2016

Source:     University of Bergen

Summary:

Offspring with a father who smoked prior to conception had more than three times higher chance of early-onset asthma than children whose father had never smoked. Both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This suggests that not only the mother’s environment plays a key role in child health, but also the father’s lifestyle, shows a new study including 24,000 children.

Journal Reference:

  1. Cecilie Svanes, Jennifer Koplin, Svein Magne Skulstad, Ane Johannessen, Randi Jakobsen Bertelsen, Byndis Benediktsdottir, Lennart Bråbäck, Anne Elie Carsin, Shyamali Dharmage, Julia Dratva, Bertil Forsberg, Thorarinn Gislason, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Christer Janson, Deborah Jarvis, Rain Jögi, Susanne Krauss-Etschmann, Eva Lindberg, Ferenc Macsali, Andrei Malinovschi, Lars Modig, Dan Norbäck, Ernst Omenaas, Eirunn Waatevik Saure, Torben Sigsgaard, Trude Duelien Skorge, Øistein Svanes, Kjell Torén, Carl Torres, Vivi Schlünssen, Francisco Gomez Real. Father’s environment before conception and asthma risk in his children: a multi-generation analysis of the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; dyw151 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyw151

Here is the press release from the University of Bergen:

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring.

A Norwegian study shows that asthma is three times more common in those who had a father who smoked in adolescence than offspring who didn’t.

SMOKING FATHERS: If you smoke as a young man, your future offspring will have a higher risk of getting asthma.

By Kim E. AndreassenPublished: 22.09.2016 (Last updated: 28.09.2016)

It is well known that a mother’s environment plays a key role in child health. However, recent research, including more than 24,000 offspring, suggests that this may also be true for fathers.

“Offspring with a father who smoked only prior to conception had over three times more early-onset asthma than those whose father had never smoked,” says Professor Cecilie Svanes at the Centre for International Health, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen (UiB).

Early debut increases risk

The study shows that both a father’s early smoking debut and a father’s longer smoking duration before conception increased non-allergic early-onset asthma in offspring. This is equally true with mutual adjustment, and adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked and years since quitting smoking.

“The greatest increased risk for their children having asthma was found for fathers having their smoking debut before age 15. Interestingly, time of quitting before conception was not independently associated with offspring asthma,” Svanes says.

The study is published in the scientific magazine International Journal of Epidemiology

Smoking fathers may influence gene control in children

Concerning mother’s smoking, the research found more offspring asthma if the mother smoked around pregnancy, consistent with previous studies. However, no effect of maternal smoking only prior to conception was identified. The difference from father’s smoking suggests effects through male sperm cells.

“Smoking is known to cause genetic and epigenetic damage to spermatozoa, which are transmissible to offspring and have the potential to induce developmental abnormalities,” explains Svanes.

It is previously known that nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring. Father’s lifestyle and age appear, however, to be reflected in molecules that control gene function.

“There is growing evidence from animal studies for so called epigenetic programming, a mechanism whereby the father’s environment before conception could impact on the health of future generations,” Svanes says.

Welding increases risk

Svanes and her team also investigated whether parental exposure to welding influenced asthma risk in offspring, with a particular focus on exposures in fathers prior to conception.

The study shows that paternal welding increased offspring asthma risk even if the welding stopped prior to conception. Smoking and welding independently increased offspring asthma risk, and mutual adjustment did not alter the estimates of either.

“For smoking and welding starting after puberty, exposure duration appeared to be the most important determinant for the asthma risk in offspring,” says Cecilie Svanes.

FACTS

Smoking fathers study

  • Cecilie Svanes investigated whether parental smoking and exposure to welding influenced asthma risk in offspring, with a particular focus on exposures in fathers prior to conception.
  • The study was conducted on a population-based cohort from seven Northern European research centres (RHINE study).
  • The experiences of more than 24,000 offspring, of which over 6000 had smoking and/or welding fathers, were included in the study The participants were from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia.
  • The researches wanted to identify  vulnerable periods during male reproductive development by addressing whether potential preconception effects were related to exposure age, exposure duration, and time from quitting exposure until conception.
  • This research is part of the ECRHS study, and contributes to the large EU funded project “Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts.

http://www.uib.no/en/news/100994/smoking-fathers-increase-asthma-risk-future-offspring

See, Prenatal care fact sheet http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Resources:

  1. A History of Tobacco
    http://archive.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html
  2. American Lung Association’s Smoking and Teens Fact Sheet Women and Tobacco Use
    African Americans and Tobacco Use
    American Indians/Alaska Natives and Tobacco Use
    Hispanics and Tobacco Use
    Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Tobacco Use
    Military and Tobacco Use
    Children/Teens and Tobacco Use
    Older Adults and Tobacco Use
    http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/specific-populations.html
  3. Center for Young Women’s Health A Guide for Teens http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/smokeinfo.html
  4. Kroger Resources Teens and Smoking
    http://kroger.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Wellness/Smoking/Teens/
  5. Teens Health’s Smoking
    http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html
  6. Quit Smoking Support.com
    http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/teens.htm

Where information leads to Hope. Dr. Wilda.com

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