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Rising pollution triggering asthma in healthy people

Sun, May 03, 2015, 01:55 PM
New Delhi, May 3, 2015: Rameshwar Tyagi developed severe breathing problems one night. Rushed to the emergency ward of a leading hospital, he was diagnosed with asthma and put on oxygen. For Tyagi, 55, it was the first asthma attack as he had never suffered from the disease earlier and was otherwise perfectly healthy.

Experts term this to be late onset of asthma, which is otherwise a chronic disease, due to the increasing levels of air pollution in Indian cities.

"More and more patients who have never got asthma before are coming to us with this disease. This can be only attributed to the rising levels of pollution in the air," Ujjwal Parikh, consultant chest medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told IANS.

"Incidents of asthma overall are also increasing. Air pollution is one of the triggering factors. People who are exposed to vehicular pollution and dust are most prone," he added.

Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant with the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, told IANS: "Pollution definitely aggravates asthma. It is one of the major triggers. Incidents of asthma have in fact increased over the years."

Echoing this, Vivek Chhattopadhyay of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said that several research studies also indicate that pollution triggers asthma as well as low lung function, especially in children.

"Air pollution is a rising concern. It definitely aggravates asthma. Studies indicate that there is a variety of health impacts of air pollution," he said.

A study conducted in Delhi by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Kolkata-based Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Centre found that every third child in Delhi had reduced lung function due to air pollution.
Agency: IANS

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