Subject: Studies in the News 03-37, June 10, 2003


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News
Health Care Supplement: Athsma


Contents This Week

Introductory Material ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Most polluted counties in California
HEALTH
   Asthma and exhaust particles
   Blueprint for improving childhood asthma outcomes
   Asthmatic children in school
   Addressing asthma in schools
   Asthma listed with severe diseases
   School-based centers and asthma
   Inner-city children with asthma
   Smoking among adolescents with asthma
   Ethnicity of children with asthma
   Pregnancy and asthma
   Asthma in communities with high traffic densities
   Wheezing triggered by viruses and toxins
   Nurse intervention for asthma management
   Training in asthma management
   School-based screening for asthma
   Passive smoking and respiratory symptoms
   Day care attendeance and asthma
   Cigarette smoking among asthmatic adults
   Increased risk from exposure to tobacco smoke
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   New particulate standards in communities
   Cities, suburbs shrouded in smog
   Asthma in children exposed to ozone
   Asthma in the Latino community
   Populations with high asthma prevalence
   Disproportinate asthma rates
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

AIR POLLUTION

State of the Air: 2003. By the American Lung Association. (The Association, New York, New York) 2003. 65 p.

Full Text at: www.californialung.org/downloads/sota03_ca.pdf

["For the fourth year running, the Los Angeles-Orange County-Riverside region was found to have the smoggiest air in the country, according to a new report.... From 1999 to 2001, the report says, California had nine of the 10 most polluted counties in the country, including the top five: San Bernardino, Fresno, Kern, Tulare and Riverside." Long Beach Press-Telegram (May 1, 2003) A1.]

[Request #S8078]

Return to the Table of Contents

HEALTH

“Air Pollution.” By Jerry Phelps. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 111, issue 4 (April 2003) 212.

[“(This study) reports on the finding that exposure to ambient particulate matter can exacerbate asthma and cause allergic inflammation … [along with] the proinflammatory effects in the respiratory tract caused by diesel exhaust particles.”]

[Request #S8390]

Return to the Table of Contents

ASTHMA

Improving Childhood Asthma Outcomes in the United States: A Blueprint for Policy Action. By Marielena Lara and others, Rand Health. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2002. 114 p.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1330/MR1330.pdf

["This report describes a set of policy recommendations to promote the development and maintenance of communities in which children with asthma can be swiftly diagnosed, effectively treated, and protected from exposure to harmful environmental factors. The intent ... [is] to strengthen the collaboration among local and national leaders in order to translate national policies into local practices."]

[Request #S5074]

Return to the Table of Contents

School Children with Asthma: An Introduction. By the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2002. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.healthinschools.org/sh/asthma.pdf

["This issue brief on school-based education programs for asthmatic students examines the problem of asthma in schools, solutions, and programs addressing these issues. Journal articles and websites concerning asthma education are also outlined in the brief." CDF Child Health Information Project (August 2, 2002).]

[Request #S5673]

Return to the Table of Contents

Strategies for Addressing Asthma Within a Coordinated School Health Program. By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The Centers, Atlanta, Georgia) 2002. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/00_pdf/asthma.pdf

["Asthma-friendly schools are those that make an effort to create safe and supportive learning environments for students with asthma and have policies that allow students to manage their asthma. This CDC manual offers guidance on reaching these objectives."] Connect for Kids (December 2, 2002)]

[Request #S6952]

Return to the Table of Contents

"With Every Breath You Take; Breathless: Asthma's Grip on Our Cities." By Kimi Eisele. IN: Onearth, A Publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council, vol. 24, no. 4 (Winter 2003) pp. 14-19.

["Air pollution may be doing more than triggering asthma attacks. It may also be an element in the development of the disease. In industrialized countries, asthma is becoming more common and severe. Five thousand people die of it every year in the U.S. Currently, it is the sixth most common chronic condition in the nation. While there is no scientific consensus that polluted air is helping to drive this epidemic, the evidence pointing to it as a major culprit is getting harder to ignore."]

[Request #S7048]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Burden of Asthma in Inner-City Elementary Schoolchildren: Do School-Based Health Centers Make a Difference?" By Mayris P. Webber and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 157, no. 2 (February 2003) pp. 125-129.

["This study reports a strikingly lower asthma-related hospitalization rate in children who attend schools with SBHCs [school-based health centers] compared with those attending comparison schools.... The authors conclude that the findings support the efficacy of SBHCs for inner-city schoolchildren with asthma and have implications for access to and funding of school-based primary care." National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University, MCH Alert (February 28, 2003).]

[Request #S7440]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Self-Reported Asthma Prevalence and Control Among Adults--United States, 2001." IN: MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 52 , issue 17 (May 2, 2003) pp. 381-385.

["Asthma is a chronic illness that has been increasing in prevalance in the United States since 1980. In 2000, asthma accounted for 4,487 deaths, approximately 465,000 hospitalizations, and estimated 1.8 million emergency department visits, and approximately 10.4 million physician office visits among persons of all ages."]

[Request #S8381]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Smoking Patterns Among Adolescents With Asthma Attending Upper Secondary Schools: A Community-Based Study." By Dorthe Precht and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 111, issue 5 (May 2003) pp. 562-569.

[“Smoking among people who have asthma may be a serious health problem…. In total, 37.7% smoked currently and 16.5"/o smoked daily; more girls than boys smoked. More pupils with asthma than without smoked daily. Furthermore, nearly twice as many pupils who had asthma with symptoms but were not using medicine smoked as pupils who had asthma without symptoms and were using medicine. However, more pupils with asthma had tried to quit.”]

[Request #S8382]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Race/Ethnicity and Asthma Among Children Presenting to the Emergency Department: Differences in Disease Severity and Management.” By Edwin D. Boudreaux and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 111, issue 5 (May 2003) pp. 615-622.

["Children with acute asthma were interviewed in the emergency department and by telephone 2 weeks after discharge. Among 1095 patients, 62% were black, 23% were Hispanic, and 15% were white. Black and Hispanic children had greater histories of lifetime and past-year hospitalization and more ED visits in the past year."]

[Request #S8383]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes in Families with Asthma." By S. Mihrshahi and others. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 40, issue 2 (April 2003) pp. 181-188; Charts.

["We studied the association between maternal asthma and various adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes and explored whether there is any evidence that pregnancy exacerbates maternal asthma….. We found that the course of maternal asthma usually remains unchanged during pregnancy, but that more severe asthma is likely to get worse. However, we did not find evidence of an increase risk of adverse prenatal outcomes."]

[Request #S8384]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Asthma Symptoms in Hispanic Children and Daily Ambient Exposures to Toxic and Criteria Air Pollutants." By Ralph J. Delfino and others. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 111, issue 4 (April 2003) pp. 647-657.

[“Although acute adverse effects on asthma have been frequently found for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principal criteria air pollutants, there is little epidemiologic information on specific hydrocarbons from toxic emission sources. We conducted a panel study of 22 Hispanic children with asthma who were 10-16 years old and living in a Los Angeles community with high traffic density. Pollutants included ambient hourly values of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide and 24-hour values of volatile organic compounds…. We found positive associations of symptoms with criteria air pollutants.”]

[Request #S8385]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Presence of Asthma Risk Factors and Environmental Exposures Related to Upper Respiratory Infection-Triggered Wheezing in Middle School-Age Children." By Mark Sotir and others. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 111, issue 4, (April 2003) pp. 657-664.

[“Viral respiratory infections and exposure to environmental constituents such as tobacco smoke are known or suspected to trigger wheezing/asthma exacerbations in children. However, few population-based data exist that examine the relationship between wheezing triggered by viral respiratory infections and environmental exposures. Data from this investigation may be useful in developing assessment, screening, and targeting strategies to improve asthma and wheezing management in children.”]

[Request #S8386]

Return to the Table of Contents

“The Effectiveness of Asthma Nurse Intervention: The Need for Change.” By Christine Wrench and Alyn H. Morice. IN: Disease Management & Health Outcomes, vol. 11, issue 4 (April 2003) pp. 225-232.

[“[This article] presents a study that examined the role of asthma nurses in asthma management; perception of patients on asthma; benefits of education to promote changes in behavior; [and] economic implications of asthma nurse intervention.”]

[Request #S8387]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Prevalence and Impact of Asthma in Children, Georgia, 2000." By Anne K. Mellinger-Birdsong and others. IN: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 24, issue 3 (April 2003) pp. 242-249.

[“Information about children with asthma was sought to guide state program planning. Among children with asthma, 56.1% lived in a household where neither caretaker nor child has taken a course or been taught about managing asthma, and 28.6% lived in a household where adults smoked inside the house…. To reduce the burden of asthma exposure of people with asthma to tobacco smoke in the home should be eliminated and training in asthma management should be more widely available.”]

[Request #S8388]

Return to the Table of Contents

“Feasibility of School-Based Spirometry Screening for Asthma.” By Jill M. Abramson and others. IN: Journal of School Health, vol. 73, issue 4 (April 2003) pp. 150-154.

[“To determine the feasibility and value of spirometry in school-based asthma screening, spirometry testing was coupled with parent questionnaires in a school-based asthma screening project…. Only 11% had questionnaire responses that made them candidates for referral. School-based spirometry screening for asthma is technically feasible but there is little overlap between those who are referral candidates based on spirometry data and those who are referral candidates based on parent-reported symptoms on screening questionnaires.”]

[Request #S8389]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Passive Smoking and Respiratory Symptoms in the FinEsS Study." By M. L. Larsson and others. IN: European Respiratory Journal, vol. 21 (2003) pp. 672-676.

Full Text at: www.fhi.se/pdf/arttobak.pdf

["The 1992 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review on passive smoking confirmed that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, i.e. passive smoking, can cause respiratory illness in children."]

[Request #S8391]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Day Care Attendance in Early Life, Maternal History of Asthma, and Asthma at the Age of 6 Years." By Juan C. Celedon and others. IN: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 167 no. 9 (May 2003) 1239-1243.

Full Text at: ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/9/1239

["Children's attendance in day care is inversely associated with asthma at school. Day care attendance in early life was associated with a decrease risk of asthma among children with no maternal history of asthma. Among children with maternal history of asthma, day care in early life had no protective effect on asthma or wheezing at age six."]

[Request #S8392]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Cigarette Smoking Among Asthmatic Adults Presenting to 64 Emergency Departments." By Robert A. Silverman and others. IN: Chest, vol. 123, no. 5 (May 2003) pp. 1472-1479.

Full Text at: www.chestjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/5/1472

["Many asthmatic adults, who have gone to the emergency department, are active cigarette smokers. Although 50% of current smokers admitted that smoking worsens their asthma symptoms, only 4% stated that smoking was responsible for their current exacerbation.... The emergency department visit may provide an opportunity for patients to be targeted for smoking cessation efforts."]

[Request #S8393]

Return to the Table of Contents

INDOOR AIR POLLUTION

"Respiratory Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke." By Moira Chan-Yeung and Helen Dimich-Ward. IN: Respirology, vol. 8, issue 2 (June 2003) pp. 131-140.

[“Tobacco smoke is a major component of indoor air pollution… In children, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) leads to reduced lung function, increased risk of lower respiratory tract illnesses, acute exacerbation of asthma resulting in hospitalization, increased prevalence of non-allergic bronchial hyperresponsiveness, increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and possibly increased risk for asthma.]

[Request #S8380]

Return to the Table of Contents


PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environmental Supplement.]

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

AIR POLLUTION

The Clean Air Color Line: Why Non-Anglo Californians Will Benefit Most From New State Particulate Standards. By Tenee Sharp and Bill Walter, Environmental Working Group. (The Group, Washington, DC) June 2002. 10 p.

Full Text at: www.ewg.org/reports/particlecivics/part2/particlecivics2_report.pdf

["Hispanics living in poor neighborhoods in the San Joaquin Valley breathe dirtier air than Caucasian residents in more affluent areas.... According to the Environmental Working Group, new particulate standards would reduce pollution-related deaths by 86% and hospital admissions by 55% for people living in predominantly minority communities." Fresno Bee (June 21, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S5429]

Return to the Table of Contents

Danger in The Air. By Rebecca Stanfield and Matt Wickerman, U.S. PIRG Education Fund. (The Fund, Washington, DC) August 2002. 106 p.

Full Text at: uspirg.org/reports/dangerintheair2002.pdf

["More than half of all Americans reside in places where smog levels are high enough to cause asthma attacks, hospital visits, decreased lung function, coughing, wheezing, and eye and throat irritation. Recent studies have even linked smog with mortality from strokes and with the onset of asthma in children and adults. Despite the progress made as a result of the 1970 landmark public health law - the Clean Air Act - our cities, suburbs, and even our national parks are shrouded in smog for much of the summer."]

[Request #S6626]

Return to the Table of Contents

HEALTH

ASTHMA

"Asthma in Exercising Children Exposed to Ozone: A Cohort Study." By Rob McConnell and others. IN: The Lancet, vol. 359 (February 2, 2002) pp. 386-391.

["We investigated the relation between newly-diagnosed asthma and team sports in a cohort of children exposed to different concentrations and mixtures of air pollutants.... Incidence of new diagnoses of asthma is associated with heavy exercise in communites with high concentrations of ozone."]

[Request #S4310]

Return to the Table of Contents

Taking Action: Confronting the Health, Social and Environmental Factors Associated with Asthma in the Latino Community. By Raquel F. Donoso and Christina Reyes, Latino Issues Forum. (The Forum, San Francisco, California) January 2002. 65 p.

Full Text at: www.lif.org/health/Asthma_Report.pdf

["Latinos in counties such as Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino are hospitalized for asthma-related complications at a rate higher than the state average of 120 per 100,000.... Researchers said that overall, asthma disproportionately affects Latino communities because of inadequate access to health care and higher environmental risks, such as attending class in portables." Orange County Register (March 9, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S4709]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Identification of Population Subgroups of Children and Adolescents With High Asthma Prevalence: Findings From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." By Michael A. Rodriguez and others. IN: The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 156, no. 3 (March 2002) pp. 269-275.

["The purpose of this study was to provide national estimates of asthma prevalence in African-American, Mexican American and white (non-Latino) children and adolescents using several common definitions; to evaluate familial, sociodemographic, and environmental risk factors that are independently associated with current asthma in children; and to identify subgroups at particular risk for current asthma using 2 complementary data analytic approaches."]

[Request #S4717]

Return to the Table of Contents

Asthma: Epidemic Increase, Cause Unknown. By A. John Oguntomilade and others, Public Health Policy Advisory Board. (The Board, Washington, DC) March 2002. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.phpab.org/asthma%20report/asthma.pdf

["The report calls for public health professionals to concentrate on identifying the roots causing sickness and death due to asthma. Another issue is the disproportionate asthma rates among minority groups, especially African Americans. Prevention is only possible by understanding all conditions and effects of the asthma epidemic." CDF Child Health Information Project (April 19, 2002)1.]

[Request #S4824]

Return to the Table of Contents