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HHS HealthBeat (May 16, 2014)

Bad air

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Air pollution rises in warmer weather, and researcher Suzanne Beavers of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says asthma problems rise with it.

Beavers says 1 in 12 Americans has asthma. And she says bad air days can trigger asthma attacks or worsen other issues related to breathing, which can include heart conditions.  She says symptoms can include wheezing, shortness of breath, pain in the lungs or elsewhere in the chest, and irregular heartbeat.

She advises watching for air quality warnings and readjusting activities:

“For people who suffer from respiratory or heart disease, they may want to consider exercising in the morning when it’s not as hot, or limiting their exercise, or exercising indoors.”

An article on air quality and asthma is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 16, 2014