Abonyi co-leads five-year respiratory study
June 6, 2012
Sylvia Abonyi of SPHERU is co-leading a team that recently received a five-year grant to study respiratory illnesses in First Nations communities.
Abonyi, along with Dr. Jim Dosman and Dr. Punam Pahwa from the University of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew from the Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre (IPHRC) and the University of Regina, are working in partnership with the communities of Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, and Montreal Lake Cree Nation to examine and improve the respiratory health of First Nations children and adults.
First Nations people have higher rates of respiratory illness than the general population, and it is believed there are a number of factors at work, from limited access to health services, poor air quality, obesity and overcrowded living conditions.
In April, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health awarded the research team more than $1.5 million over a five-year period for research that will include baseline evaluations, intervention activities and prospective evaluations.
The team will be studying conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea. It will also work with First Nations communities to address conditions, such as poor housing, and promote healthy lifestyles.