Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir discusses her research on environmental factors, exercise and respiratory health


Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD, MS, describes her research on the impact of environmental factors on the respiratory health of children.

We know that exposure to air pollution can lead to the development of asthma as well as asthma exacerbations, said Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD, MS, a pediatric pulmonologist at Columbia University Medical Center and New director of this program. Lovinsky-Desir’s presentation was presented at this year’s American Thoracic Society (ATS) meeting.


Research shows that people of color in the United States suffer the most from particles 2.5 (MP2.5) exhibition. How did this play into the rates of asthma and other lung disease seen in these patients?

We know that exposure to air pollution can lead to the development of asthma, as well as asthma exacerbations. So think about it: if you are exposed to high concentrations of air pollution exposure due to where you live, let’s say you live right next to a major thoroughfare or right next to a major thoroughfare. highway or next to a truck depot and there are diesel trucks passing regularly – your exposure to particulate pollutants may be much higher. Therefore, you may have a higher risk of developing asthma, as well as a higher risk of having asthma-associated symptoms and morbidity.

There is a very nice study published last year that showed that even historical practices, like the redlining that occurred in the 1930s, created the landscape of many urban communities where highways and sources of traffic tend to be found in poor communities. These same poor communities today know [a] higher asthma burden with increased hospitalization rates for asthma. It really is a problem. These are structural issues that affect the health of people today.

Can you discuss your research on how environmental factors in urban communities affect respiratory health?

My particular area of ​​interest, and on which I am focusing my research at the moment, is thinking about the combined effects of physical activity and exposure to air pollution, particularly in children. We know that when you exercise, you breathe deeper and breathe faster and harder overall, potentially inhaling more pollutant particles. For children who live in communities where there is increased exposure to air pollution, we know that physical activity in general is good for respiratory health, but it is not necessarily the case to be. super active outdoors, especially when exposed to high air pollution. concentration. This is the area of ​​research that I have focused on in recent years.

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