New study reveals asthma attack 'hot spots,' air quality issues - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New study reveals asthma attack 'hot spots,' air quality issues in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Where you live can have a big impact on the air you breathe, and a new study revealed the asthma attack "hot spots" in Louisville. 

Air Louisville studied 1,147 people with asthma over the last two years to find solutions to our community's breathing problems.

"Before I had this program and before it was under control, I was in the emergency room quite a bit," said Mary Ann Stansberry, who participated in the study. 

The study used GPS sensors on asthma inhalers to track where and how often Jefferson County residents experienced asthma symptoms.

"It's never been done here," said Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation for the Louisville Metro Government. "It's also never been done anywhere else in the country."

Participants also tracked their own personal data using an app. 

"It tells you what time of the day that you've actually used your inhaler, where you were in the city, it tells you exactly what the temperature was, what the humidity was," Stansberry said. 

The data revealed areas with air quality issues that triggered asthma attacks in participants. 

"We learned where these hot spots of asthma attacks are occurring in our community," Simrall said. 

Downtown Louisville and several west Louisville communities are "hot spots" with higher asthma risks. 

"This confirmed areas where we had that hunch about and unveiled places that we didn't consider," Simrall said. 

The city is already working on fixing a major factor: traffic congestion. Simrall said the city is starting with making adjustments to traffic lights and timing throughout the city. 

The study also helped participants stay on top of their symptoms and live a healthier life. 

"It keeps you on track and makes sure you're doing what you're supposed to do," Stansberry said.

To see the full Air Louisville study report card, click here

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