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Asthma Rates Higher Near Busy New York Highway

FRIDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Residents of homes that are located near congested highways have higher rates of asthma, new research finds.

Living close to a busy highway was not linked to seasonal allergies, which suggests that emissions from cars could increase the risk for inflammatory lung disease, researchers from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center in New York said.

Researchers investigated the prevalence of asthma among 62 Brooklyn residents living close to Interstate 278, also known as the Gowanus Expressway, and those living in the same area but farther from the highway. The researchers found higher rates of asthma among the people living closer to the Interstate.

"Our participants were randomly recruited and we observed that the patients who reported asthma live significantly closer to the Gowanus Expressway, compared to the healthy controls who live in the same area, but at a longer distance from the Gowanus," Dr. Maria-Anna Vastardi, of SUNY Downstate, said in a university news release.

The study was to be presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting in Orlando. The research was also published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on asthma.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, news release, June 26, 2012

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