A new study has found the reason behind the increasing number of hospital encounters for kids with respiratory difficulties - traffic-related air pollution is heightening the severity of asthma.
The research has been published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
To reach the conclusion, Ralph J. Delfino, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues, studied records for 2,768 children from two hospitals in northern Orange County, California.
eginning with the first hospital encounter, investigators analyzed children's estimated exposures at their home addresses to the traffic-related air pollutants nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO).
They estimated the risk of recurrent hospital encounters from exposure to air pollution using recurrent proportional hazards analysis, adjusting for sex, age, health insurance, census-derived poverty, race/ethnicity, residence distance to hospital, and season.
"Traffic-related NOx and CO were associated with repeated hospital encounters for asthma in children, suggesting that local traffic-generated air pollution near the home affects asthma symptom severity," the researchers write.