Exposure to violence may worsen asthma: study

08:34, September 07, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

U.S. researchers have found a link between exposure to violence in childhood with aggravated asthma in later life.

The study involved 397 adults with moderate to severe asthma who lived in an inner-city community. Nearly one-quarter of the participants had previously been exposed to violence.

The participants were followed for six months by researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The findings showed that people who had been exposed to violence previously had nearly twice the rate of subsequent hospitalizations or emergency department visits for asthma as those who hadn't been exposed to violence.

The researchers come to the conclusion that people with asthma who had witnessed violence in their neighborhoods are at increased risk for asthma-related hospitalization and emergency department visits for asthma or any cause.

The study also found that exposure to violence was associated with lower asthma-related quality of life, and that younger adults were more likely to be exposed to violence and more likely to have had an emergency care visit in general.

It's not clear how exposure to violence affects asthma, but the researchers suggested that it may be a marker for physical or social conditions that contribute to the development of asthma, exacerbate symptoms, and interfere with successful treatment and management of the disease.

These conditions may include air pollution, inadequate housing and limited access to pharmacies.

It's also possible that the stress of living in a poor, violence-affected community directly affects the health of people with asthma, the researchers said, adding that the two theories were not mutually exclusive.

"Because overall ED (emergency department) visits increased and there was a trend toward increase in overall hospitalizations, our findings suggest that exposure to violence is associated with far reaching health effects beyond the single condition of asthma," said lead author Dr. Andrea J. Apter, a professor of medicine and chief of the allergy and immunology sections in the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine.

The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Players of Iran throw up their coach Velasco Julio during the awarding ceremony at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, capital of Iran, Sept. 29, 2011. Iran won the champion after beating China 3-1 in the final on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • Greek artists burn copies of emergency tax notices during a protest against austerity measures in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Greek government is facing a new wave of protests as it introduces new austerity measures to obtain the sixth tranche of aids necessary to overcome the acute debt crisis.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
  • A winner of the 36th Miss Bikini International 2011 poses for a photo at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
  • Staff members are in position at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • Champion of Miss Bikini from Poland receives trophy at the final of the 36th Miss Bikini International World Competition in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
Hot Forum Discussion