People with asthma who have been exposed to air pollution for a long time are less likely to be able to control their condition, research has found.
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at 480 asthmatics in France, examining their medication use over a specified period, the number of attacks they suffered over that time and whether they had to be treated in hospital.
The researchers found that 44% of their study group had well controlled asthma, 29% had partially controlled and 27% had uncontrolled asthma.
Uncontrolled asthma means the patients are regularly using quick-acting inhalers, they wake up in the night experiencing shortness of breath, they take steroids to control the condition, and they have to go to hospital for treatment
Using data from the French Institute of Environment, the research team looked at levels of ozone, nitrous oxide and particulate matter at each study participant’s home.
They concluded that levels of ozone and particulate matter are strongly associated with poorer control of asthma.
- Jacquemin B, et al. Air pollution and asthma control in the Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2011; Advance online publication.