Subject: Studies in the News 03-60 (September 24, 2003)

Studies in the News
Health Care Supplement: Athsma

Contents This Week

Introductory Material HEALTH
   Environmental exposures and asthma
   Household environment and asthma
   Particle concentrations in homes and asthma
   Wildfires and asthma
   Prenatal development and asthma
   Asthma an enigmatic epidemic
   Asthma awareness survey
   Communities concerned about asthma
   Asthma management education
   Asthma treatment variations
   High-risk asthma populations
   Asthma deaths in 2002
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a service provided to the Legislature and Governor's Office by the State Library's Research Bureau. Weekly lists of current articles related to legislative issues will be supplemented by monthly lists focusing on a specific area of public policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web Catalog by selecting the Special Resources link on the opening page at

This service works as before:

  • You may get copies of these studies by e-mailing a request to <> (Christie Henningfeld oversees the State Library's Capitol office), by calling 319-2691, or by stopping by room 5210 in the Capitol.

  • If you would like us to try to get other studies, please e-mail information about each study you want to <>.

  • Please use the same avenues if you want to be off the distribution list or on the distribution list.

  • The list which follows shows only current additions to the collection. If you would like a cumulative list, or a cumulative list for only selected topics, please e-mail <>.
The following studies are currently on hand:



"How Environmental Exposures Influence the Development and Exacerbation of Asthma." By Ruth A. Etzel, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 112, no. 1. (July 2003) pp. 233-239.

["Environmental exposures may increase a child’s risk of developing asthma and also may increase the risk of asthma exacerbations. This article reviews several environmental exposures and suggests whether they contribute to asthma prevalence, asthma exacerbations, or both. Exposure to outdoor air pollutants primarily leads to increased exacerbations, sometimes manifested as asthma clusters."]

[Request #S9039]

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“Influences of Asthma and Household Environment on Lung Function in Children and Adolescents: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” By Robert S. Chapman, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Environmental Protection Agency, and others. IN: American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 158, (July 15, 2003) pp. 175-198.

[“The authors examined influences of asthma and household environment (passive smoking, use of a gas stove, and having a dog or cat) on five measures of spirometric lung function among 8- to 16-year-old subjects… in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.”]

[Request #S9093]

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“Particle Concentrations in Inner-City Homes of Children with Asthma: The Effect of Smoking, Cooking, and Outdoor Pollution.” By Lance A. Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Reston, Virginia, and others. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 111, no. 9, (July 2003) pp. 1265-1272.

[“As part of an epidemiologic study of inner-city children with asthma, continuous (10-min average) measurements of particle concentrations were made for 2-week periods in 294 homes drawn from seven cities. The major indoor source was smoking … Other significant sources included frying, smoky cooking events, use of incense, and apartment housing. … The small variation among cities and the similarity across cities of the observed indoor air particle distributions suggest that sources of indoor concentrations do not vary considerably from one city to the next, and thus that simple models can predict indoor air concentrations in cities having only outdoor measurements.”]

[Request #S9094]

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Wildfire Problem in the U.S. to Grow and Lead to Major Health Problems if Global Warming is not Addressed: Press Release. By the Civil Society Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 2, 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at:

[“As wildfires grow, so too will the ill health effects associated with the more extensive fire-related haze pollution… The most likely illnesses to be inflicted or aggravated by spreading wildfire pollution include asthma, chronic lung disease, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory illness in children.”]

[Request #S9095]

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“How the Tooth Fairy Could Help to Prevent Asthma: Press Release.” By the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, University of Bristol. (The University, Bristol, England) July 10, 2003. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["Children’s two top front teeth – which begin to develop while the babies are still in the womb – contain a detailed record of how well the baby was nourished with trace elements and minerals before birth ... and that could tell [scientists] why some children go on to develop wheezing and asthma.”]

[Request #S9096]

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“Asthma: An Enigmatic Epidemic.” By Nataliya V. Schetchikova. IN: Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (June 2003) pp. 22-28, 30-37.

Full Text at:

[“What is causing the asthma epidemic and what can we do to stem the tide? … Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) delves into this question and offers advice from doctors of chiropractic and allergists who have helped control asthma symptoms in many patients. The JACA articles … include information on how to properly diagnose asthma, effects, side effects, and proper intake guidelines of asthma medications, Buteyko breathing technique, and other topics.”]

[Request #S9097]

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Report on the Results of the Asthma Awareness Survey. By ORC Macro. Prepared for the American Lung Association and the National Association of School Nurses (The American Lung Association, ) September 2, 2003. 7 p.

Full Text at:

[Includes: "School Nurses’ Perceptions Regarding Asthma among Minority or Under-served Populations;" "School Nurses and the Use of Rescue Inhalers;" "School Nurses’ Experience in Dealing with Students with Asthma;" and others.]

[Request #S9098]

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“The Health Politics of Asthma: Environmental Justice and Collective Illness Experience in the United States.” By Phil Brown, Department of Sociology, Brown University, and others. IN: Social Science & Medicine, vol. 57, no.3 (August 2003) pp.453-465.

[“Minority communities in the United States have higher morbidity rates than white communities and, as a result, are more readily affected by debates over environmental factors and subsequent public health and government efforts. Therefore, asthma has figured prominently in community activists' agendas concerning health inequalities. We compare and contrast the efforts of two community environmental justice organizations that include asthma as part of their overall community organizing efforts.”]

[Request #S9099]

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“Evaluation of an Education Program for Elementary School Children with Asthma.” By S.L. McGhan, Alberta Asthma Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and others. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 40, no. 5 (August 2003) pp 523-534.

[“To evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive asthma management education program for 7- to 12-year-old children with asthma, entitled Roaring Adventures of Puff (RAP), 18 elementary schools in Edmonton were randomized to intervention and control groups. … The results showed that a comprehensive, school-based asthma education program is feasible and improves outcomes.”]

[Request #S9100]

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“The Relationship of Health Insurance to the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma and Respiratory Problems in Children in a Predominately Hispanic Urban Community.” By Natalie C. G. Freeman, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 93, no. 8 (August 2003) pp 1316-1320.

[“As part of an asthma screening study, we evaluated the relationship of health care insurance coverage to the diagnosis and treatment of elementary school children for asthma and related respiratory problems from 1998 through 2001. …Diagnosis of asthma and treatment were related to health care coverage.”]

[Request #S9101]

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“Prevalence of Childhood Asthma and Associated Morbidity in Los Angeles County: Impacts of Race/Ethnicity and Income.” By Paul A. Simon, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and others. IN: Journal of Asthma, vol. 40, no. 5. (August 2003) pp 535-544.

[“To assess variation in the prevalence of childhood asthma and associated morbidity across race/ethnic and income groups in the Los Angeles County population, we analyzed data on a random sample of 6004 children. … Asthma prevalence was inversely related to income in all racial/ethnic groups except Latinos from Spanish-speaking households. Among children with asthma, blacks and Latinos were more likely than whites to report asthma-related limitations in physical activity and need for urgent medical services. These findings indicate marked disparities in asthma prevalence and related morbidity in this large urban child population and highlight the importance of efforts to identify high-risk subpopulations for focused prevention and treatment interventions.”]

[Request #S9102]

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[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

Report of the San Francisco Ashtma Task Force. By the Task Force. Prepared for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (The Board, San Francisco, California) 2003. 52 p.

[“The San Francisco Asthma Task Force is expected to present to the Board of Supervisors its 52-page plan for reducing the disease that has doubled in prevalence in the United States in the past 30 years… The high-level task force recommends setting up mobile monitoring in neighborhoods to find the worst pockets of pollution, inspecting city housing projects for dust and mold, and improving school district policies that track and care for children with asthma." San Francisco Chronicle (July 17, 2003) A17.]

[Request #S9103]

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