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Air pollution no threat to asthma children

Posted - Nov. 10, 2004 at 6:40 a.m.



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DENVER, Nov 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Denver researchers say particulate air pollution did not lead to worsening of asthma in children during the pollution-heavy winter months.

However, upper respiratory infections were associated with a significant decline in lung function, asthma symptoms and asthma exacerbations, the study found.

Researchers Dr. Nathan Rabinovitch and Dr. Erwin Gelfand, both of National Jewish Medical and Research Center, monitored 41, 63 and 43 elementary school children for asthma exacerbations, visits to emergency rooms and hospitalizations during three successive winters in Denver, when particulate pollution is worst.

"It is well known that upper respiratory infections can cause problems for people with asthma, but the air pollutions results were a surprise," said Gelfand. "We believe that careful monitoring of the children allowed us to filter out confounding factors that would have mistakenly suggested a significant health impact of air pollution."

The findings were published in the November Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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