General Allergy News: January 2007 Archives

Living Near a Busy Highway Impedes Children's Lung Growth

busy highwayLOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 -- Freeway traffic pollution can retard lung development of children whose homes are not far from the side of the road, researchers here reported.

Children exposure to traffic pollution during their rapid pulmonary development, from ages 10 to 18, had eight-year lung growth that was significantly stunted, W. James Gauderman, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California here, and colleagues, reported online in The Lancet.

The lung growth was slowed in children who lived within 500 meters (about a third of a mile) of a freeway compared with children who lived 1,500 meters (about one mile) or more away, the investigators found.

histamine releaseIn a surprise finding, scientists have discovered that histamine, the inflammatory compound released during allergic reactions that causes runny nose, watery eyes, and wheezing, can be produced in large amounts in the lung by neutrophils, the white blood cells that are the major component of pus.

Pus, a fluid found in infected tissue, is produced as a result of inflammation.
The study in mice is the first to show that lung neutrophils can produce histamine in significant quantities, according to principal investigator George Caughey, MD, chief of pulmonary/critical care medicine at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The pill may raise odds of having allergic kids


oral contraceptiveNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mothers who have previously used oral contraceptive pills seem more likely to have children with nasal allergies, Finnish researchers report.

Dr. Leea Keski-Nisula, of Kuopio University, Finland, and colleagues note in the medical journal Allergy that there has been a suggestion of an association between oral contraceptive use and allergic diseases.

To investigate, the researchers studied 618 asthmatic children aged 5 or 6 years and compared them with 564 similar but unaffected children.