living may be tied to Asthma!
New research proposes surprising explanation
for growing health problem
a children’s asthma clinic in Denver, patients
pour in from all over the West — some as young as 2 years old — with
severe cases of the lung condition. New research suggests a
surprising explanation for why asthma has become a nationwide
epidemic involving 5 million children.
is the leading cause of school absenteeism. An estimated
29 million Americans are expected to have the
disease by 2020. It already accounts for almost $13 billion
a year in health care costs. Asthma and allergy experts from
around the world convened at a major conference in New York
on Friday to discuss one of the critical public health issues
of our time — the increasing rate of asthma across the country.
The numbers are up 154 percent over the past 20 years. Dr.
Andy Liu, who runs the children’s asthma clinic at National
Jewish Hospital in Denver, thinks he knows the reason for the
increase. Advertisement “Our clean living ways perhaps might
be leading to this global rise in asthma and allergies,” Liu
said. Most people assume asthma results from air pollution
or other dirt in the environment. But it may be caused by just
the opposite. The latest research shows the cleaner the environment,
the more cases of asthma. It has to do with our immune systems! New
studies show if children escape multiple infections as infants,
their immune systems then overreact to dust or other things
that cause allergies — with asthma as the result.
in poor countries are often sick, but they seldom get asthma.
In communist East Germany, asthma rates
were low, but since the wall came down and the country has
gotten cleaner and healthier, asthma rates have shot up. What
does this mean for Americans? For one thing, day care might
have a positive effect. “Children in day care settings who
have illnesses early on seem to be more resistant to asthma
as they get older,” said Dr. Bill Davis of Columbia Presbyterian
Medical Center in New York. Another study shows kids with dogs
in the house get less asthma; and other research shows kids
who grow up on farms are less prone to the condition. For now
experts say the most important factor is to treat kids as soon
as symptoms appear.
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