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Mountain Talk: The Mountain Air Project

Mountain Talk: The Mountain Air Project

Bev May (l) & Nell Fields, both of whom are involved in the Mountain Air Project, a new initiative seeking to better understand the high rates of asthma & COPD in southeast Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky has long suffered from high rates of serious respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD), black lung disease, and asthma, among others. While some are directly tied to major sources of local employment (as with black lung & the coal industry), it’s still not known exactly why there are such high incidences of major respiratory ailments found in our region.

In this edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, we hear about a new project that’s hoping to change that.  The Mountain Air Project will lead a 5-year study looking for risk factors connected to the prevalence of COPD and asthma in southeast Kentucky.  The project was made possible thanks to a grant of $2.5 million obtained by the University of Kentucky’s College of Public health, and it will be based in Whitesburg, Ky. Bev May & Nell Fields, who are both involved with the work, recently stopped by the WMMT studio to tell us more.  You can read more about the project in this recent article from The Mountain Eagle.

Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesay from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.