About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Trees May Reduce Asthma Attacks

by Chrisy Ngilneii on November 18, 2017 at 12:54 PM
Font : A-A+

Trees May Reduce Asthma Attacks

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 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 neighborhoods.

Advertisement


The study, published in the journal Environment International, looked at more than 650,000 serious asthma attacks over a 15 year period. Emergency hospitalizations were compared across 26,000 urban neighborhoods in England.

In the most polluted urban areas, trees had a particularly strong association with fewer emergency asthma cases. In relatively unpolluted urban neighborhoods trees did not have the same impact.
Advertisement

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 拢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 localized 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. Green space and gardens were associated with reductions in asthma hospitalization 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."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Childhood Asthma Asthma Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief Allergy - Symptom Evaluation Wheezing Churg-Strauss Syndrome Tests for Asthma Stay Well This Winter Occupational Asthma 

Recommended Reading
Asthma
It's a lung condition characterized by inflammation of the bronchi and constriction of the airways ....
Air Conditioner Health Hazards
This section gives a brief introduction about what air conditioner health hazard means and what ......
Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory diseases affect any part of the respiratory system. Some of the lung diseases like ......
Allergy - Symptom Evaluation
An allergic reaction may be mild or severe. It usually involves the skin, respiratory system, eyes,...
Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma is a condition that affects airways in children and interferes with their daily act...
Churg-Strauss Syndrome
Churg-Strauss Syndrome is a rare disease characterized by inflammation of blood vessels that can res...
Occupational Asthma
Occupational Asthma (OA) is a lung disorder that occurs due to exposure to toxic substances at the w...
Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief
Understanding the cause and mechanism of seasonal allergy can help in choosing the right treatment. ...
Stay Well This Winter
Winter is associated with staying huddled indoors, people scurrying home to escape the piercing wint...
Tests for Asthma
Do you find it difficult to breathe especially during the cold weather? You may need to get tested f...
Wheezing
Wheezing is a sound arising from the airways due to an obstruction or narrowing, which prevents the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use