Dr. Douglas W Dockery, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health presented a lecture titled “Health Effects of Desert Dust Storms”, today, Tuesday 11th June 2013, at Dasman Diabetes Institute.

This lecture was organized in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health and Dasman Diabetes Institute to further shed light on dust storms in the area. Dr. Dockery reiterated in his lecture “These storms cause economic disruption, and anecdotally are associated with asthma attacks and other exacerbations of respiratory conditions. Episodes of elevated particulate air pollution from urban, industrial, and motor vehicle sources has been consistently shown to be associated with increased numbers of deaths, hospital emergency visits, and admissions. These effects have been attributed to fine fraction particles (less than 2.5 mm aerodynamic diameter), and not to the larger coarse particles characteristic of resuspended dust as in desert dust storms. Nevertheless, recent analyses of Saharan dust storms have shown increased cardiovascular and respiratory hospital admissions and mortality. We will review this evidence for health effects and the implications for health systems in Kuwait”.

Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of Dasman Diabetes Institute commented on the importance of organizing such lectures, as this is part of its mission statement to promote awareness within the public.