AIR POLLUTION AND ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: A LITERATURE REVIEW
Asthma is a common childhood respiratory condition where symptoms and the patient’s lung function can deteriorate in association with changes in air quality. Worsening air pollution have been associated with increased asthma admissions and emergency department. The aim of this paper is to explore the association between air pollution and asthma in children and asses its risk of hospitalization.
By searching several search engines such as PubMed, Proquest, Ovid, Science Direct and Wiley, article with keywords of “asthma in children and air pollution” were retrieved. Articles were selected from those that were published between the years 1999 to 2016.
The air pollutants associated with asthma are particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). These pollutants effect the asthma symptoms such as cough, wheezing and chest tightness as well as reduced the lung function. Air pollutants has significant association with the number of asthma emergency department visit (PM, SO2 and NO2) and asthma hospital admission (PM, SO2, NO2 and O3). Females and younger age group were found to be more sensitive to the exposure of air pollutants.
Air pollution has a significant effect on exacerbation of asthma symptoms, the lung function test, the emergency visit and its hospitalization. Multi sectoral approach are needed to control the level of air pollutant in the environment thus reducing the health effect of asthma in children.
Keywords: Asthma in children, air pollution