22 Jun 2010

Researchers look at high Maori, Pacific rate of lung disease

10:31 pm on 22 June 2010

Researchers from Otago University's department of medicine are asking why Maori and Pacific Island children have among the highest rates in the world of admission to hospital for the serious lung disease bronchiolitis.

Dr Tristam Ingham, who is heading a $1.5 million project funded by the Health Research Council, says there is no clear explanation why the disease hits those children at five times the rate of non-Maori.

He told Waatea News a number of factors have been suggested, including the low levels of Vitamin D caused by skin pigmentation screening out sunlight.