Climate Change Model Predicts Increase in Childhood Asthma

Models predict an increase in children's emergency departments visits for asthma by the 2020s

MONDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Global-to-regional climate and atmospheric chemistry models predict an increase of 7.3 percent in emergency department presentations for regional summer ozone-related asthma in children aged 0 to 17 years across the New York City metropolitan region by the 2020s, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Perry E. Sheffield, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues projected the number of future pediatric asthma emergency department presentations associated with ozone changes at ground level in the 2020s and compared them with the number of visits in the 1990s. The number of future asthma emergency department presentations for children aged 0 to 17 years were predicted using baseline New York City metropolitan area emergency department rates, a dose-response relationship between ozone levels and pediatric asthma emergency department presentations, and projected daily eight-hour maximum ozone concentrations for the 2020s as simulated by a global-to-regional climate change and atmospheric chemistry model. All analyses were done in 2010.

The investigators predicted that climate change could cause a 7.3 percent increase in regional summer ozone-related asthma emergency department presentations for children aged 0 to 17 years across the New York City metropolitan region by the 2020s. Inclusion of ozone precursor changes diminished this effect. The inclusion of population growth increased the projections of morbidity related to ozone.

"As the first model of climate-related, regional, pediatric morbidity, this study not only demonstrates an important modeling approach but also provides some quantitative projections to which future work can add and compare," the authors write.

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