I came across a research article about children with asthma, which is relevant to me as I have had asthma since I was a little girl and always wondered how severe pollution affects my chest. Furthermore where I am living now in Shenzhen, China, some colleagues at my school, who have never had asthma before or grew out of asthma many years ago, have asthma now since, living in China- which is quite scary, as we have only been living here for just over a year!
The research article focused on the effect of air pollution during exercise or time spent outdoors on the development of asthma. The research investigated the relationship between newly-diagnosed asthma and team sports when children are exposed to different concentrations and mixtures of air pollutants. The research used 3535 children with no history of asthma from schools in 12 communities in southern California and were followed up for up to 5 years. 265 children reported a new diagnosis of asthma during follow-up. The researchers assessed the risk of asthma in children playing team sports, in six communities with high daytime ozone concentrations, six with lower concentrations, and in communities with high or low concentrations.
The research found in communities with high ozone concentrations, that 95% of children developed asthma when playing three or more sports compared with children playing no sports. Sports had no effect in areas of low ozone concentration. Therefore the time spent outside was associated with a higher incidence of asthma in areas of high ozone, but not in areas of low ozone.
The researchers concluded that new diagnoses of asthma is associated with heavy exercise in communities with high concentrations of ozone, thus, air pollution and outdoor exercise could contribute to the development of asthma in children.