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New research into effects of air pollution on people with asthma

Published: 
26 February 2003

HOPE, the South's leading medical research charity, is financing a year long study at the University of Southampton into how outdoor air pollution increases people's risks of developing asthma and having asthma attacks.

Dr Ian Yang of the University's Division of Human Genetics is investigating the effects of harmful ozone produced by air pollution on a sample of lung cells taken from asthmatics. He and colleagues Dr John Holloway, Dr Donna Davies and Professor Stephen Holgate will measure the amount of chemical substances produced by the cells in reaction to the ozone. Ways of blocking the substances at the level of production from the genes will be tested to see if lung damage can be prevented.

"This study of how air pollution damages the lungs will help us to develop effective prevention against its harmful effects. We hope that this will prove to be of benefit to people who are more vulnerable to air pollution, especially patients with lung conditions," said Dr Yang.

Research findings should help regulatory bodies establish new standards for acceptable levels of air pollution.

The £8,700 grant from HOPE is part of the charity's Innovations fund.

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Notes for editors

  1. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £235 million.
  2. Hope is the south's leading medical research charity. Now in its 26th year, Hope (or the Wessex Medical Trust, as it is more formally known) is appealing for funds for its £1 million appeal 'Hope for Healthy Babies' covering a range of childhood illnesses and diseases, including asthma.

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