Indexed on: 07 Dec '13Published on: 07 Dec '13Published in: European Respiratory Journal
The association between ambient temperature and lung function in children with asthma is still uncertain. A panel of 270 children (aged 7-12 years) with asthma was recruited from six Australian cities. They performed three successive forced expiratory manoeuvres twice daily for 4 weeks. The highest peak expiratory flow rate (PEF) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were stored for each session. During the same period, data were obtained daily on ambient temperature, relative humidity and air pollution. Mixed models were used to examine the effects of temperature on lung function, controlling for individual characteristics and environmental factors. Ambient temperature was negatively related to both morning and evening PEF and FEV1 for 0-3 days lag. In general, the effects of temperature were stronger in males than in females for evening PEF, while the effects were stronger in females for evening FEV1. Children with asthma living in southern cities were more sensitive to high temperature than those in the northernmost city. Higher ambient temperature is associated with lower lung function in children with asthma. Preventive health policies will be required to protect children with asthma from increasingly frequent high temperatures.