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Early-life air pollution linked with childhood asthma in minorities
By UCSF School of Pharmacy Editorial Staff / Wed Jun 26, 2013
In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers led by UCSF scientists found that infants in minority populations who are exposed to motor vehicle air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide (NO2), are more likely to develop asthma later in childhood.
The study’s lead author, Katherine Nishimura, MPH, is a graduate student in the lab of senior author Esteban Burchard, MD, MPH, a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. Nishimura is interested in environmental and genetic risk factors for common chronic diseases, including asthma.
Given their findings that increases in NO2 exposure during the first year of life are linked with a higher risk of developing asthma later on, the study’s authors called for stricter air quality standards. The national standard for NO2 levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is “too lax by far,” says Burchard.
The study is currently reported online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ahead of print publication.
About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.