Improved heating reduces asthma symptoms among kids

September 25th, 2008 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 25 (IANS) Improved home heating reduced asthma symptoms in children, according to a Otago University study in New Zealand. The study examined 409 children in five communities between the ages of six and 12 with asthma, both before and after the installation of more effective heating at homes.

The results showed that post heating, children had improved health, less sleep disturbance and wheezing, less coughing at night and improved respiratory symptoms and also fewer sick days off school.

Although there was no significant difference in lung function, asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing were significantly reduced.

“This study shows that sustainable heaters are good for children’s health. It’s possible for families to be warm inside, without polluting the air outside. The recent Emissions Trading package builds on this work and allocates a billion dollars to insulate houses and install healthy heating. We expect to see improvements in respiratory health as a result,” said Philippa Howden-Chapman, who led the study.

The houses in the study had a mean temperature rise of 1.1 degree C in the living room and 0.57 degree C in the child’s bedroom. They also had significantly less polluting nitrogen dioxide from unflued gas heaters in both the living and bedrooms, reports Sciencealert. The results have been published in the British Medical Journal.

Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in childhood and 25 percent of New Zealand children report asthma symptoms.

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