We continue to be active in Environmental Research and continue to publish our research regularly in national and international journals. The Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy & Sleep Medicine division now has 3 full time research coordinators, and in early 2014 our plans call for a fourth coordinator and research associate. This research staff is assigned to all of our projects at the Center.
We participated in the 6th International Conference on Children’s Environment and Safety, in Jerusalem, Israel in November 2013, with an oral presentation and 3 poster presentations. We are also signatories to the Jerusalem Statement on Children’s Environmental Health, 2013.
Here is a list of our projects and publications (2013-2014):
Dozor AJ, Amler RW. Children's Environmental Health. J Pediatr. 2013 Jan; 162(1):6-7.e2.
This important publication by the Center’s Directors is an overview of Children’s Environmental Health and challenges facing children and care-givers in the assessment and treatment of environmental conditions in children.
Valsamis C, Krishnan S, Dozor AJ. The effects of low-level environmental tobacco smoke exposure on pulmonary function tests in preschool children with asthma. J Asthma. 2014 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24575853.
Summary: It is now possible to accurately measure lung function in very young children. This study demonstrates that preschool children whose parents claim to only smoke away from their children still have evidence in their urine of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; and that the lung function of young children with asthma is affected, possibly in a dose-dependent manner.
Gill R, Krishnan S, Dozor AJ. Low-level environmental tobacco smoke exposure and inflammatory biomarkers in children with asthma. J Asthma. 2014 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Summary: This study demonstrates that children with asthma that are exposed to low levels of environmental tobacco smoke continue to have evidence of increased inflammation, as measured in the urine, despite taking asthma medications. This is consistent with other literature suggesting that the effectiveness of first line treatment for asthma, inhaled anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroids), may be inhibited by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, even at very low levels.
Air Quality and Hospitalizations for Asthma
In an analysis of five years of hospitalizations for young children with asthma at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, there was no direct correlation between hospitalization following an ED visit and ambient air quality at place of residence on the day of hospitalization. The likely reason for hospitalization in this population is by far, viral infections.
Health Literacy Project
Ongoing study. Parents with children with asthma who present for a routinely scheduled visit are asked to voluntarily respond to three questionnaires – STOHFLA, Newest Vital Sign and the Asthma Numeracy questionnaire. The objective is to assess the asthma literacy and numeracy levels of our populating and then tailor our educational messages accordingly.
Obesity and Asthma
Ongoing study. We are analyzing detailed lung function including spirometry in the group of over 2,250 children with clinically diagnosed asthma who underwent complete lung function testing at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Pediatric Pulmonology Laboratory. The objective is to compare lung function in obese children versus children with normal weight. The specific goal is to study the effects of obesity on peripheral airway mechanics in children with asthma.
Severity of Asthma in Children in the Emergency Department
Ongoing study. The objective of this study is to assess the severity level (as per national EPR-3 asthma guidelines) of all children presenting to the emergency department at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital over a 9 month period, and to ascertain how many of these children are on appropriate therapy for asthma. This will help us plan educational programs targeted to referring physicians and other health care providers.