Narrator: This is Science Today. While childhood asthma continues to rise globally, many believe the culprit to be increased industrialization. Asthma specialist Homer Boushey (BOO-SHEA) of the University of California, San Francisco says this explains part of the problem, but not all of it.
Boushey: The highest rates of asthma mortality was New Zealand, hardly what we think of as an industrialized country with bad air pollution. The big changes in Western lifestyle as opposed to third world lifestyles is the use of indoor carpeting, sealing of houses, the keeping of domestic pets and it's possible that that's what accounts for the increase in asthma. 0:20
Narrator: Boushey says these societal changes are often accompanied with other changes in life.
Boushey: In diet, in activity, children who used to work or play out of doors in rural settings often stay indoors and are inactive in urban settings and there's some theory that changes in diet and activity among children may predispose to the development of asthma.
Narrator: At least in those genetically predisposed. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.