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Low pollen 'triggers kids' asthma'

07 December 2011 11:31

The study looked at how pollen levels affected asthma

The study looked at how pollen levels affected asthma

Parents of children with asthma who are planning a holiday in New York may be interested to read the results of a new study into the condition and how it is affected by pollen levels.

Yale and Brown University researchers tracked more than 400 children with asthma from New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts and found that they were likely to suffer symptoms even when pollen levels were low.

The research suggested that they were still likely to cough, wheeze and suffer shortness of breath. The study shows that parents need to keep a close eye on their child's condition throughout the year and also reinforces the importance of medical travel insurance ahead of trips to the US.

The five-year study of 430 children aged from four to 12 followed each one's condition against the level of pollen they were exposed to near their home. It found that kids exposed to pollen were 37% more likely to suffer respiratory symptoms when daily pollen was at a level deemed 'low' by the National Allergy Bureau.

"In some respects, it's common sense that if a child is asthmatic and allergic to pollen, when they're exposed to pollen, they would bear some risk of asthmatic symptoms," lead author Curt DellaValle, of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, told Reuters Health.

"The biggest thing, though, is seeing these effects even with the lowest levels of pollen. It leads us to believe that parents of these asthmatic children should be aware that even when pollen levels are low, their children will experience asthmatic symptoms."

The study was published in the journal Epidemiology.