Pittsburgh fights back against asthma

Children in Pittsburgh may be at a greater risk of suffering asthma than other kids in the U.S.

Asthma is a common condition that affects those young and old. However, school nurses in Pittsburgh have noticed that more and more students suffer from the condition each year. So, researchers from Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) decided to investigate the matter.

Research plans
According to CBS Pittsburgh, the city is ranked 16th when it comes to the most difficult areas in the U.S. to live if you suffer from asthma.1 What's even more troublesome is the fact that 50 percent of children in the area are being treated for the condition. So, researchers are planning to enroll 150 fifth graders from across the city into the program. This will give professionals the opportunity to track the airway function of each participant, as well as taking body mass index and exposure to tobacco smoke and stress into consideration. In order to complete this investigation, Heinz Endowments offered a grant of $415,000 to AGH.

Grant offering
Robert Vagt, president of Heinz Endowments, explained to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette that the company's interested in this research derived from studies that have found health hazards associated with air pollution.2

"We support Dr. [Deborah] Gentile's research as another important indicator of the critical need for all of us in this region to work together to protect the health of one of our most vulnerable groups, our children," Vagt said in a statement.

Gentile, director of research in AGH's division of allergy, asthma and immunology, is heading the study. However, she and her colleagues are in need of additional funding so that they may provide asthma kits to all children enrolled in the program. She also hopes to improve state policy regarding asthma testing in schools.

If you're the parent of a child who suffers from asthma, you can purchase all of the necessary medical supplies for treating his or her condition from Medex Supply, an online medical supply store offering asthma management and respiratory equipment and more.

1 CBS Pittsburgh, "Local experts to launch study regarding high number of asthma cases" January 20, 2014
2 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "AGH receives grant for asthma research" January 20, 2014

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