Pediatrics Xagena

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Children living near major roads at increased risk of asthma

Researchers from University of Southern California found link between highways and breathing problems in children.

Children living within 75 meters ( about 82 yards ) of a major road had a nearly 50 percent greater risk of having had asthma symptoms in the previous year than were children who lived more than 300 meters ( about 328 yards ) away.

" These findings are consistent with an emerging body of evidence that local traffic around homes and schools may be causing an increase in asthma," says lead author Rob McConnell, at the Keck School. " This is a potentially important public health problem because there are many children who live near major roads. "

The study included more than 5,000 5- and 6-year-old children living in Southern California who were part of the Children's Health Study.
The researchers determined how far each participating child lived from a major road: a freeway, large highway or a feeder road to a highway or freeway.

Source: International Conference - American Thoracic Society ( ATS ), 2005