Raisa Cassim

Physical activity and asthma: cause or consequence?

R.Cassin photo

Supervisors names: Professor Shyamali Dharmage, Dr Elasma Milanzi, Dr Jennifer Koplin, and Dr Melissa Russell

Asthma and insufficient physical activity are two important global health issues. Asthma currently affects 300 million people globally and is the most common chronic disease in children. In conjunction, it is estimated that more than 80 % of the world’s adolescents are insufficiently physically active. Since both asthma and physical inactivity are significant problems in child and adolescent populations, it is essential to focus research on these populations.

Previous research has found associations between asthma and physical activity. Recently, studies have investigated the role of physical activity as a risk factor for asthma incidence. However, there is also some controversy as to whether individuals with asthma are less physically active as a consequence of their asthma. Furthermore, a number of other factors may modify these associations. Therefore, this research attempts to investigate the temporality of these complex relationships.

In this work, a variety of statistical techniques will be employed to analyse data from questionnaires, accelerometry and clinical assessments collected by two well-established cohorts of Australian children: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and the HealthNuts. In so doing, this PhD research aims to advance our understanding of the relationships between asthma and physical activity in children and adolescents.

PhD scholarship and funding body: NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship, Australian Government