Presented by Prof Jeroen Douwes

There has been a global epidemic of asthma during the past half-century. More recently, the prevalence has levelled off or declined in many Western countries, whereas the prevalence in less affluent nations is still increasing. The reasons for this and the different geographical patterns of asthma prevalence remain unclear, but given the speed at which some of these changes have occurred strongly suggest a significant role for environmental factors. Although allergy and asthma are closely related, allergen exposure and allergy alone cannot explain current time trends and geographical patterns of asthma. Also, large prospective studies have shown that interventions to reduce indoor allergens (predominantly house dust allergen) have not been successful. As a result the focus has shifted from allergen exposure to non-allergenic exposures that modify the risk of allergies and asthma. This talk will provide an overview of new and emerging risk and protective factors which have greater explanatory power and hold considerable promise in terms of future effective interventions.

The Role Of The Environment
New Zealand Respiratory Conference 2016 Day 1 Session 1

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