The Gowanus Expressway also known as Interstate-278 is responsible for connecting various bridges and highways in Brooklyn, New York. According to researchers both at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center, I-278 is also responsible for the direct correlation between asthma and the residents who live close by.

Researchers found there is a relationship with asthma and people who live near heavily congested highways.

The study, which involved 62 adults, who were recruited from the outpatient department of Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, included 45 patients with rhinoconjunctivitis or asthma and 17 healthy controls.

According to Dr. Maria-Anna Vastardi at SUNY Downstate Medical Center located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, the study indicates that proximity to a severely trafficked highway links to the presence of asthma in adults, but not with seasonal allergy. The results also propose that vehicle emission may increase the risk for developing inflammatory lung disease in adults.

"Our participants were randomly recruited and we observed that the patients who reported asthma live significantly closer to the Gowanus Expressway, compared to the healthy controls who live in the same area, but at a longer distance from the Gowanus," Dr. Vastardi said.

Dr. Vastardi gave an oral presentation of her findings at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Vastardi is a first-year fellow in SUNY Downstate's Division of Allergy and Immunology.

This study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology