Subject: Studies in the News 03-84 (December 22, 2003)

Studies in the News
Health Supplement: Asthma

Contents This Week

Introductory Material HEALTH
   High body mass index and asthma
   Asthma care comparison
   Inhaled corticosteroids in childhood asthma
   Obesity and asthma
   Need to increase influenza vaccinations
   Flu shots prevent hospitalizations
   Access to allergy medications
   Disease management and asthma morbidity
   On-the-job asthma
   Cohort study of childhood asthma
   Asthma in California
   Smoking and teens with asthma
   Ozone, fine particles and children with asthma
   Asthma intervention program
   Body-mass index as a predictor of asthma
   Diesel exhaust and asthma
   Occupation correlations with asthma
   Oakland air and asthma
   Early exposure to chemicals harmful
   Home monitoring via an interactive Web site.
   Studies in the News, June 2003
   Studies in the News, September 2003
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



“High Body Mass Index, Asthma and Allergy in Swedish School Children Participating in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood: Phase II.” By: M. MaiAxelson, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Paediatrics, Linköping University Sweden, and others. IN: Acta Paediatrica, vol. 92, no. 10 (October 2003) pp. 1144 – 1148.

[“The relationship between high BMI [body mass index] and asthma symptoms was studied in 457 sixth-grade children with and without current wheeze.... The study confirms and extends a previously observed relationship between BMI and the presence of wheezing and asthma.”]

[Request #S9846]

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“Comparing Asthma Care Provided to Medicaid-Enrolled Children in a Primary Care Case Manager Plan and a Staff Model HMO.” By Alexandra E. Shields, and others. IN: Ambulatory Pediatrics, vol. 3, no. 5 (September 2003) pp. 253–262.

[“In this study, the HMO [Health Maintenance Organization] served a less sick pediatric asthma population. After controlling for case mix, the staff model HMO provided greater access to asthma specialists and more timely follow-up care after asthma ED [Emergency Department] visits relative to providers in the state-administered PCCM [Primary Care Case Management] plan. Further understanding of the impact of these differences on clinical outcomes could guide asthma improvement efforts.”]

[Request #S9847]

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“Inhaled Corticosteroids in Childhood Asthma: Income Differences in Use.” By Anita L. Kozyrskyj, Department of Community Health Sciences, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, and others. Pediatric Pulmonology, vol. 36, no. 3 (September 2003) pp. 241-247.

["A socioeconomic gradient in the use of inhaled corticosteroids prescriptions can be found among children with universal access to healthcare and drug insurance. … The proportion of children with inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions decreased with successive decreases in neighborhood income.”]

[Request #S9848]

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“Obesity and the Risk of Newly Diagnosed Asthma in School-age Children.” By Frank D. Gilliland and others, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. IN: American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 158, no. 5 (September 1, 2003) pp. 406-415.

Full Text at:

[“To determine the relation between obesity and new-onset asthma among school-age children, the authors examined longitudinal data from 3,792 participants in the Children’s Health Study (Southern California) who were asthma-free at enrollment. … The authors conclude that being overweight is associated with an increased risk of new-onset asthma in boys and in nonallergic children.”]

[Request #S9849]

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“Asthma and Influenza Vaccination: Findings From the 1999–2001 National Health Interview Surveys.” By Earl S. Ford and others, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IN: Chest, vol. 124, no. 3 (September 2003) pp. 783-789.

[“Vaccination rates among people with asthma aged 18 to 64 years suggest the need to increase influenza vaccination rates in this age group.”]

[Request #S9850]

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A Shot of Prevention: An Analysis of the Impact of Flu Vaccinations on Asthmatic Populations. By the American Lung Association. (The Association, New York, New York) September 2003. 6 p.; Appendices.

Full Text at:

["We provide a state-by-state analysis of the number of hospitalizations due to asthma that could potentially be avoided by administrating the flu vaccination. The analysis is broken by down by adults and by children under 15 years of age.”]

[Request #S9851]

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“Access to Allergy Care: Implications for Quality Healthcare and Public Safety.” By William E. Berger and others. IN: Managed Care Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2 (2003) pp. 8-11.

Full Text at:

[“As allergists, the authors are concerned about health insurance proposals to reduce or eliminate coverage and patient access to several second-generation antihistamines and possibly other important allergy and asthma medications.”]

[Request #S9852]

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“The Positive Impact of a Disease Management Program on Asthma Morbidity in Inner-City Children.” By Rashed A. Hasan and others. IN: Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, vol. 16, no. 3 (September 2003) pp. 147-153.

[“Objectives of this study were to investigate whether implementing an asthma disease management program that involves the interplay of a physician in an asthma clinic, and periodic home visits by non-physician members of this program, could reduce asthma morbidity in disadvantaged inner-city children with moderate to severe asthma."]

[Request #S9853]

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"Occupational Exposures Associated with Work-Related Asthma and Work-Related Wheezing Among U.S. Workers." By Ahmed A. Arif and others. IN: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 44, no. 4, (October 2003) pp. 368-376.

["On-the-job Asthma Most Common in Cleaners, Farmers: People working in the cleaning, farming and transportation industries are among the most likely to develop asthma as a result of their jobs.... The authors discovered that an estimated 26 percent of cases of asthma in adults are caused or aaggravated by the workplace environment." World Environment News (October 23, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S9854]

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A Longitudinal, Population-Based, Cohort Study of Childhood Asthma Followed to Adulthood.” By Malcolm R. Sears, Departments of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, and others. IN: New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 349, no. 15 (October 9, 2003) pp. 1414-1422.

["[The authors] assessed children born from April 1972 through March 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, repeatedly from 9 to 26 years of age …More than one in four children had wheezing that persisted from childhood to adulthood or that relapsed after remission. The factors predicting persistence or relapse were sensitization to house dust mites, airway hyperresponsiveness, female sex, smoking, and early age at onset. These findings, together with persistently low lung function, suggest that outcomes in adult asthma may be determined primarily in early childhood.”]

[Request #S9855]

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Asthma in California: Findings From the 2001 California Health Interview Survey. Ying-Ying Meng and others, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (The Center, Los Angeles, California) November 2003. 58 p.

Full Text at:

["This report examines asthma in California based on data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey. [The authors] report on the prevalence of asthma in California [and] discuss access to care for people with asthma. Then [the authors] discuss emergency department use and hospitalizations among people with asthma.... The policy report provides several recommendations including on-going surveillance of asthma, improving control of asthma through the reduction of environmental triggers, reducing disparities in the burden of asthma, and suggesting community-based, culturally appropriate interventions."]

[Request #S9856]

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“Psychosocial Risk Factors for Tobacco Use Among Adolescents with Asthma.” By Kenneth P. Tercyak, Departments of Oncology and Pediatrics and Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center. IN: Journal of Pediatric Psychology, vol. 28, no. 7 (October 2003) pp. 495-504.

[“Psychosocial risk factors for smoking among adolescents with and without asthma appear similar. Having parents who have smoked, exposure to friends who smoke, and depression were significant psychosocial risk factors for ever smoking. The prevalence of ever smoking among adolescents with asthma was 56%.”]

[Request #S9857]

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Association of Low-Level Ozone and Fine Particles With Respiratory Symptoms in Children With Asthma. By Janneane F. Gent, Yale University Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology, and others. IN: JAMA, vol. 290, no. 14 (October 8, 2003) pp. 1859-1867.

[“Exposure to ozone and particulate matter of 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5) in air at levels above current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards is a risk factor for respiratory symptoms in children with asthma.”]

[Request #S9858]

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“Asthma Intervention Program Prevents Readmissions in High Healthcare Users.” By Mario Castro and others, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. IN: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 168, no. 9 (November 1, 2003) pp. 1095-1099.

[“The largest portion of the cost for asthma healthcare is due to hospitalizations…. From 1996 to 1999, 96 adult subjects (predominantly young African American women) hospitalized with an asthma exacerbation, who had a history of frequent healthcare use, were randomized to an asthma nurse specialist intervention or a usual care group for 6 months…. We found a marked reduction in lost work or school days…. The intervention resulted in a substantial reduction in direct and indirect healthcare costs, saving $6,462 per patient.”]

[Request #S9859]

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“Body-mass Index as a Predictor of Incident Asthma in a Prospective Cohort of Children.” By Diane R. Gold, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and others. IN: Pediatric Pulmonology, vol. 36, no. 6 (December 2003) pp. 514-524.

[“An epidemic rise in asthma has occurred concurrently with a rise in overweight among United States children … We studied the prospective relation of body-mass index (BMI) to incident asthma…. For girls, overweight contributes to development of asthma. For boys and girls, extremes of annual BMI growth rates increase the risk of asthma.”]

[Request #S9860]

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“Diesel Exhaust Particles Exert Acute Effects on Airway Inflammation and Function in Murine Allergen Provocation Models.” By Minqi Hao, UCLA School of Medicine, and others. IN: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 112, no. 5 (November 2003) pp. 905-914.

[“UCLA researchers have shown for the first time that diesel exhaust particles alone may be enough to induce acute asthma attacks. A new testing method used in an animal model helped researchers better isolate the effect of diesel exhaust particles, a component of air pollution, on asthma.”]

[Request #S9861]

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“Occupation and Asthma: A Population-Based Incident Case-Control Study.” By Jouni J. K. Jaakkola, Institute of Occupational Health, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and others. IN: American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 158, no. 10 (November 2003) pp. 981-987.

[“The authors assessed the relations between occupation and risk of developing asthma in adulthood. Asthma risk was increased consistently for both men and women in the chemical, rubber and plastic, and wood and paper industries… Of the predominantly men’s occupations, metal and forestry work were the strongest determinants of asthma. For women, asthma risk increased for waiters, cleaners and dental workers.”]

[Request #S9862]

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“Oakland Air a Trial to Asthma Sufferers; Rate of City’s Kids Hospitalized Due to Condition Is One of the Highest in the Nation.” By Chauncey Bailey. IN: Alameda Times-Star, (November 11, 2003) B1.

[“Children from West Oakland make more visits to the hospital for asthma treatment than kids elsewhere in the city, with fumes from cars on freeways among the chief reasons, according to health officials.”]

[Request #S9863]

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"Early Life Environmental Risk Factors for Asthma: Findings from the Children's Heath Study." By Muhammad Towahid Salam and others IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, (December 9, 2003) online.

["Early Exposure to Chemicals May Boost Risk of Asthma: Studying nearly 700 children in 12 communities in the Los Angeles region, a team at USC found that children exposed to household pesticides in their first year were more than twice as likely to develop asthma than those never exposed. Infants exposed to wood smoke, household cockroaches and farm animals also suffered considerably more asthma." Los Angeles Times (December 12, 2003) 50.]

[Request #S9864]

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“An Internet-based Store-and-forward Video Home Telehealth System for Improving Asthma Outcomes in Children” By Debora S. Chan, Department of Pediatrics, Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. and others. IN: American Journal of Health System Pharmacy, vol. 60, no. 19 (October 1, 2003) pp. 1976-1981.

[“Pediatric patients with persistent asthma were provided with home computers and Internet access and monitored biweekly via an interactive Web site.… Emergency department visits and hospital admissions for asthma were avoided. Rescue therapy was infrequent. A high rate of satisfaction with home tele-monitoring was reported.”]

[Request #S9865]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environmental Supplement.]

"Health: Asthma Supplement." IN: Studies in the News, 03-37 (June 10, 2003).

[Includes: "Asthma and exhaust particles;" "Blueprint for improving childhood asthma outcomes;" "Asthmatic children in school;" "Addressing asthma in schools;" "Asthma listed with severe diseases;" "School-based centers and asthma;" "Inner-city children with asthma;" "Smoking among adolescents with asthma;" "Ethnicity of children with asthma;" "Pregnancy and asthma;" "Asthma in communities with high traffic densities;" "Wheezing triggered by viruses and toxins;" "Nurse intervention for asthma management;" "Training in asthma management;" "School-based screening for asthma;" "Passive smoking and respiratory symptoms;" "Day care attendeance and asthma;" "Cigarette smoking among asthmatic adults;" "Increased risk from exposure to tobacco smoke;" and others.]

[Request #S]

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"Health: Asthma Supplement." IN: Studies in the News, 03-60 (September 24, 2003).

Full Text at:

[Includes: "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;" and others.]

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