Crime Linked to Asthma

Sunday 2nd May 2010

Researchers warn that living in an area where crime levels are high can increase childhood asthma. Researchers from the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago explain that exposure to violence and stress can worsen a child's asthmatic symptoms. The research will be presented, in full, at the meeting of the Paediatric Academic Societies in Canada later this year.

Researchers studied the medical records of 561 children diagnosed with asthma who varied between 8-14 years old. The children all lived in the Chicago area. Researchers also examined local police reports that detailed the incidence levels of violent crime in the children's local communities. The scientists found that children were up to twice as likely to have severer forms of asthma if their guardians reported that they were stressed or if their local community had a high incidence of crime.

The study claims to be the first to link social factors and social problems to the development and severity of childhood asthma. Researchers hope to study the topic further and hope to use findings to better identify and treat children who are at greater risk of developing the condition.

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