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Climate Change May Trigger More Asthma Emergencies

FRIDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Climate change may increase children's asthma-related visits to hospital emergency departments in the next decade.

The prediction was made by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers using regional and atmospheric models. They linked N.Y. State Department of Health climate and air quality information with data on asthma-related emergency department visits by children in 14 counties that are part of the New York City metropolitan area.

The team then simulated ozone levels for June through August in five consecutive years in the 2020s and compared them with ozone levels in the 1990s. The model showed an overall 7.3 percent increase in asthma-related emergency department visits by children up to age 17, with increases in individual counties ranging from 5.2 to 10.2 percent.

The study is published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"Our study shows that these assessment models are an effective way of evaluating the long-term impact of global climate change on a local level," said Dr. Perry Sheffield, assistant professor of preventive medicine, in a Mount Sinai news release.

The researchers called for stronger efforts to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and pollution that forms ozone.

More information

The World Health Organization has more about climate change and health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, news release, Aug. 30, 2011

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