Childhood asthma linked to air pollution: Study

Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system, caused by inflammation of the airways. It is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Published: 15th February 2020 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2020 08:50 AM   |  A+A-

Air pollution

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Air pollution and its adverse effects on human health are well documented. A recent study has revealed that air pollution could not only aggravate asthma but also cause asthma cases among children.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system, caused by inflammation of the airways. It is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

The study conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) collated asthma incidence rates among children between the age group of 1 and 18 years in Barcelona and concluded that 48 per cent of the cases every year could be attributed to air pollution.

Speaking to Express, Dr Krishnamurthy, HOD of Pulmonology Department, Gandhi Hospital, said, “Asthma is primarily an allergic respiratory disease. So when air pollutants are inhaled, they cause multiple chain reactions in our respiratory system. This eventually causes bronchial spasm and an increase of mucus secretion. This, in turn, can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath or asthma, especially among children.”

He added that multiple studies have proved that air pollution can aggravate asthma. “In the last 10 years, there have been at least a 10-15 per cent increase in asthma cases among children in the city, due to increasing air pollution. As there was very little awareness earlier, people did not know the adverse effects of air pollution. But now we do.”

Another pulmonologist said that air pollution is not only harmful to people who have asthma, but also makes ones who don’t have it susceptible to the condition.

The study also claimed that if the guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO) for maximum air pollution exposure levels were met, up to 19 per cent of childhood asthma cases attributable to the fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and 18 per cent attributable to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), could be prevented each year.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp