Project 188 – Exploring high occurrence of childhood asthma in North West Tasmania – an in-depth study

24 Jan 2019

Dr Heinrich Weber – $54,450

Asthma is the most common chronic condition in childhood and the commonest reason for hospitalisation in childhood. Asthma and allergic reaction are generally poorly studied in regional and rural areas.

This is a follow up to a previously funded Clifford Craig project. This research project aims to confirm if childhood asthma is more common in NW Tasmania, compared to Australia in general. It will provide more evidence to confirm the findings of the earlier study that generated significant public interest, which showed that asthma is more common in young children (6 to 8 years) in NW Tasmania.

The project aims to determine if this increased rate of asthma in the NW Tasmanian population could be explained by allergies, environmental risk factors and issues in early life, such as smoking in pregnancy. The researchers will also examine how well the lungs of children function and the reasons for impaired or poor lung function.

It has been shown that lung problems in early childhood years could lead to lifelong problems, and these problems could then be at risk of developing COPD in later life. The results from this study will from an essential component of the broader research collaboration tom improve the outcome of children and adults with chronic respiratory problems in NW Tasmania and elsewhere.