Statement: City kids with asthma suffer less if they live near a park

Children with asthma living in a city nearer to green spaces suffer fewer symptoms, according to research due to be presented on Monday (11 September) at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017. 

The study revealed that children had one extra day of asthma symptoms – being short of breath, having chest pains and wheezing – for every 305 metres that separated their home from the park.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA, interviewed the parents of nearly 200 children with asthma, aged between three and 12, who live in the inner-city of Baltimore. All children had either been to A&E at least twice or been hospitalised for their asthma over the past year.

Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said: “This is an interesting study which suggests that living near greenspace encourages physical activity, decreases stress and filters environmental and air pollution - in turn, decreasing asthma symptom days in older children. However, this is only a small study and further research with more participants is needed to see if this holds true in different populations in different parts of the world.

“One in 11 children in the UK have asthma - that’s around three in every classroom - and we know that air pollution has a severe impact on the health and the quality of life of people with asthma.

“This highlights the importance of a Clean Air Act that gives local authorities power to tackle this problem and clean up our air alongside central government. It is also important and that people with asthma, and parents of children with asthma, living in highly polluted areas pay particular attention to making sure their asthma is well managed.”


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Asthma UK media team on, 020 7786 4949 (during office hours) or 07951 721393 (outside of office hours).

About Asthma UK

  • In the UK, 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).
  • Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one to an asthma attack, and tragically two thirds of these deaths are preventable.
  • Asthma UK’s mission is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. We do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
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