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Special Issue "Asthma Risk and Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Lori A. Hoepner

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, SUNY Downstate Medical Center School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs); plasticizers/plastic pollution; childhood obesity/adiposity; asthma; DOHaD; community-based environmental health; underserved populations; health disparities; urban health; hydraulic fracturing; big data

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Asthma Risk and Prevention” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph. 

Asthma is a chronic disease which can affect individuals over the course of a lifetime. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O., 2017) approximately 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide with most asthma-related deaths occurring in low- and lower-middle income countries. Children are a particularly vulnerable population for asthma exacerbation effects, especially when the built environment and air pollution are considered. Asthma may have far-reaching health impacts including effects on physical activity and resulting obesity outcomes. Asthma can be a debilitating disease which can impact socioeconomic status, education outcomes, and work productivity due to missed days for sickness. As such, both individuals and their caregivers can be affected directly and indirectly. While the exact cause(s) of asthma remain unknown, understanding risk and prevention remains an important objective of public health research. Research across the lifespan, both in cities and rural areas, and in both developing and developed countries, can offer a critical guide for policy efforts and planning for public health.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to asthma risk and prevention. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Dr. Lori Hoepner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Indoor allergens
  • Outdoor allergens
  • Environmental tobacco smoke
  • Chemical irritants
  • Air pollution
  • Quality of life
  • Physical activity
  • Absenteeism
  • Bronchodilators
  • Corticosteroids
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Spirometry
  • Asthma action plan
  • Built environment
  • Wheeze
  • Shortness of breath

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Asthma Endpoints
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010043
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recent studies have highlighted the potential protective role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in asthma. This study aimed at determining the association between seafood intake, serum PUFA composition and clinical endpoints of asthma in adults. A cross-sectional study of 642 subjects [...] Read more.
Recent studies have highlighted the potential protective role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in asthma. This study aimed at determining the association between seafood intake, serum PUFA composition and clinical endpoints of asthma in adults. A cross-sectional study of 642 subjects used the European Committee Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaire, skin prick tests, spirometry and methacholine challenge tests following ATS guidelines. Sera was analysed for n-3 and n-6 PUFA composition. Subjects had a mean age of 34 years, were largely female (65%) and 51% were current smokers. While 99% reported fish consumption, rock lobster, mussels, squid and abalone were also consumed less frequently. The prevalence of asthma symptoms was 11%, current asthma (ECRHS definition) was 8% and non-specific bronchial hyperresponsiveness (NSBH) was much higher (26%) In adjusted models the n-3 PUFAs 20:5 (EPA) and 22:5 (DPA) were significantly associated with a decreased risk of having NSBH. Total n-3 PUFA composition was associated with decreased NSBH risk (OR = 0.92), while high n-6 PUFA composition was associated with an increased risk (OR = 1.14). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asthma Risk and Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
Social, Environmental and Behavioral Determinants of Asthma Symptoms in Brazilian Middle School Students—A National School Health Survey (Pense 2012)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122904
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
PDF Full-text (441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biological and psychosocial factors are recognized contributors to the worldwide burden of asthma. However, the relationship between psychosocial factors and asthma symptoms among students in low- and middle-income countries remains underexplored. We aimed to identify socioeconomic, environmental, psychosocial, family-related and lifestyle factors associated [...] Read more.
Biological and psychosocial factors are recognized contributors to the worldwide burden of asthma. However, the relationship between psychosocial factors and asthma symptoms among students in low- and middle-income countries remains underexplored. We aimed to identify socioeconomic, environmental, psychosocial, family-related and lifestyle factors associated with the self-reporting of asthma symptoms in Brazilian adolescents. This is a cross-sectional study using data from the 2012 PeNSE survey (n = 109,104). We analyzed the following variables: socioeconomic conditions, demographic characteristics, lifestyle, family context and dynamics, psychosocial indicators, smoking, and exposure to violence. Our outcome variable was the self-report of asthma symptoms in the past 12 months. The prevalence of wheezing was 22.7% (21.5–23.9). After adjusting for sex, age and the variables from higher hierarchical levels, exposure to violence (feeling unsafe at school, being frequently bullied, being exposed to fights with firearms) and physical aggression by an adult in the family were the environmental factors that showed the strongest associations with self-reporting of asthma symptoms. For psychosocial indicators of mental health and social integration, feelings of loneliness and sleeping problems were the strongest factors, and among individual behavioral factors, the largest associations were found for tobacco consumption. Our findings were consistent with previous studies, showing an association between self-reported asthma symptoms and socio-economic status, family context and dynamics, psychosocial indicators of mental health, exposure to violence and social integration, as well as a sedentary lifestyle and tobacco use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asthma Risk and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle
A Closer Look at the Bivariate Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Allergic Diseases: The Role of Spatial Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081625
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 22 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although previous ecological studies investigating the association between air pollution and allergic diseases accounted for temporal or seasonal relationships, few studies address spatial non-stationarity or autocorrelation explicitly. Our objective was to examine bivariate correlation between outdoor air pollutants and the prevalence of allergic [...] Read more.
Although previous ecological studies investigating the association between air pollution and allergic diseases accounted for temporal or seasonal relationships, few studies address spatial non-stationarity or autocorrelation explicitly. Our objective was to examine bivariate correlation between outdoor air pollutants and the prevalence of allergic diseases, highlighting the limitation of a non-spatial correlation measure, and suggesting an alternative to address spatial autocorrelation. The 5-year prevalence data (2011–2015) of allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma were integrated with the measures of four major air pollutants (SO2, NO2, CO, and PM10) for each of the 423 sub-districts of Seoul. Lee’s L statistics, which captures how much bivariate associations are spatially clustered, was calculated and compared with Pearson’s correlation coefficient for each pair of the air pollutants and allergic diseases. A series of maps showing spatiotemporal patterns of allergic diseases at the sub-district level reveals a substantial degree of spatial heterogeneity. A high spatial autocorrelation was observed for all pollutants and diseases, leading to significant dissimilarities between the two bivariate association measures. The local L statistics identifies the areas where a specific air pollutant is considered to be contributing to a type of allergic disease. This study suggests that a bivariate correlation measure between air pollutants and allergic diseases should capture spatially-clustered phenomenon of the association, and detect the local instability in their relationships. It highlights the role of spatial analysis in investigating the contribution of the local-level spatiotemporal dynamics of air pollution to trends and the distribution of allergic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asthma Risk and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle
When Control Exacerbates Distress: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Experiences of Hong Kong Chinese Parents in Caring for a Child with Asthma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071372
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Many parents have difficulty managing childhood asthma. In Hong Kong (HK), while medication is the primary form of treatment, traditional Chinese medicine is another favored option. In addition, HK follows a dual-track healthcare system, which may pose unique experiences for Chinese [...] Read more.
Background: Many parents have difficulty managing childhood asthma. In Hong Kong (HK), while medication is the primary form of treatment, traditional Chinese medicine is another favored option. In addition, HK follows a dual-track healthcare system, which may pose unique experiences for Chinese parents in managing childhood asthma. This qualitative descriptive study aimed to explore the experiences of HK Chinese parents in caring for their children with asthma. Methods: Fourteen HK Chinese mothers of children (aged 3–10) suffering from asthma were purposively sampled to participate in individual, semi-structured interviews. A realist approach following conventional content analysis was used to interpret the interviews. Results: The mothers expressed feelings of uncertainty, fear of asthma crises, and searched for ways to cope. As long as their child’s asthma symptoms recurred, the mothers’ distress continued. Their distress was sometimes exacerbated by self-doubt and worries over whether they would receive adequate support from their family and healthcare professionals. Conclusions: Helping parents to understand their limits may help them be more open to varied aspects of their caregiving experiences, and thus to cope better. Psychological interventions together with traditional educational training may help to alleviate the psychological difficulties of parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asthma Risk and Prevention)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Smartphone Applications for Encouraging Asthma Self-Management in Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112403
Received: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Adolescent asthma is still a major problem with poor adherence to treatment. Globally, adolescents are devoted users of smartphone technologies and app use in asthma self-management may improve adherence. The objective of this systematic review is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of [...] Read more.
Adolescent asthma is still a major problem with poor adherence to treatment. Globally, adolescents are devoted users of smartphone technologies and app use in asthma self-management may improve adherence. The objective of this systematic review is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of mobile technology in improving asthma outcomes in adolescents. We conducted an extensive review of the peer-review literature of studies with populations consisting of children and adolescents under 18 years in seven bibliographic databases and Google Scholar. All study designs were considered. Quality assessment of included studies were independently assessed and reported. The search identified 291 articles; of the 16 eligible full-text papers, 8 met the review criteria, reporting two interventional, two qualitative and four observational studies. Samples ranged from 12 to 21 participants. Heterogeneity related to study design and the methods of the included studies prevented meta-analysis. Nevertheless, the intervention studies reported a positive effect of smartphone apps on asthma control, medication adherence and self-efficacy. Smartphone apps may be an effective asthma control tool especially among adolescents who are major users of smartphones; however, conclusions are limited by a lack of controlled trials and adequate sample sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asthma Risk and Prevention)
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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