Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
22 August 2013 10:08
Traffic exhaust fumes are thought to exacerbate asthma through airway inflammation
Traffic pollution and smoke from wood fire heaters has a significant effect on middle-aged people with asthma, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne claim symptoms worsen when sufferers are exposed to heavy traffic pollution or wood smoke, something which can become a problem at home and on holiday.
A group of 1,383 44-year-old adults were analysed in the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study. They were surveyed for their exposure to the frequency of heavy traffic vehicles and the levels of ambient wood smoke in winter.
Sufferers who were exposed to heavy traffic pollution saw their symptoms rise 80%, while those exposed to wood smoke from wood fires saw an 11% rise.
Participants reported from between two to three flare-ups - called intermittent asthma - to more than one flare-up per week - severe persistent asthma - over a 12-month period.
Dr John Burgess of the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne believes the findings may have particular importance in developing countries around the world.
Wood smoke exposure is likely to be high in the rural communities of such countries due to the use of wood for heating and cooking, while the intensity of air pollution from vehicular traffic in larger cities is likely to be significant.
Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is among the most common chronic health problems. As with any pre-existing condition, people heading abroad are advised to look out for their best interests and arrange
pre-existing medical travel insurance before they jet off, or in this case,
asthma travel insurance.
"It is now recommended that adults who suffer asthma should not live on busy roads and that the use of old wood heaters should be upgraded to newer heaters, to ensure their health does not worsen," added Dr Burgess.
"Clean burning practices and the replacement of old polluting wood stoves by new ones are likely to minimise both indoor and outdoor wood smoke pollution and improve people's health."
The findings were published in the journal Respirology.
29 September 2016
Tour operator Thomas Cook says its earnings are still being impacted by recent terror attacks.
28 September 2016
The English tourism industry is predicted to grow faster than the overall economy every year for the next decade, according to new research.
27 September 2016
Monarch Airlines says its flights are operating as normal amid fears the firm is in financial trouble.
24 September 2016
Slim people who look physically healthy may still be at increased chance of being diagnosed with bowel cancer if they have raised insulin levels, according new research.
23 September 2016
Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
22 September 2016
Budget airline Jet2.com is to open its first base in the south of England at Stansted.
21 September 2016
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
20 September 2016
Concerns have been raised over flight disruptions caused by heavy drinking among passengers.
17 September 2016
British Airways' decision to launch direct flights from London to Tehran earlier this month positions Iran as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2017, according to experts.
16 September 2016
More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
15 September 2016
Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
14 September 2016
TripAdvisor is launching a new homepage, making the booking of holiday activities and tours even easier.