[Air pollution and asthma in childhood].

Latzin, Philipp (2013). [Air pollution and asthma in childhood]. Therapeutische Umschau, 70(12), pp. 708-713. Huber 10.1024/0040-5930/a000468

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Exposure to outdoor air pollutants and passive tobacco smoke are common but avoidable worldwide risk factors for morbidity and mortality of individuals. In addition to well-known effects of pollutants on the cardiovascular system and the development of cancer, in recent years the association between air pollution and respiratory morbidity has become increasingly apparent. Not only in adults, but also in children with asthma and in healthy children a clear harmful effect of exposure towards air pollutants has been demonstrated in many studies. Among others increased pollution has been shown to result in more frequent and more severe respiratory symptoms, more frequent exacerbations, higher need for asthma medication, poorer lung function and increased visits to the emergency department and more frequent hospitalisations. While these associations are well established, the available data on the role of air pollution in the development of asthma seems less clear. Some studies have shown that increased exposure towards tobacco smoke and air pollution leads to an increase in asthma incidence and prevalence; others were not able to confirm those findings. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are different definitions of the outcome asthma, different methods for exposure estimation and differences in the populations studied with differing underlying genetic backgrounds. Regardless of this inconsistency, several mechanisms have already been identified linking air pollution with asthma development. Among these are impaired lung growth and development, immunological changes, genetic or epigenetic effects or increased predisposition for allergic sensitisation. What the exact interactions are and which asthmatic phenotypes will be influenced most by pollutants will be shown by future studies. This knowledge will then be helpful in exploring possible preventive measures for the individual and to help policy makers in deciding upon most appropriate regulations on a population level.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Pneumologie (Pädiatrie)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Latzin, Philipp


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








André Schaller

Date Deposited:

13 Apr 2015 16:44

Last Modified:

29 Oct 2015 10:19

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