The asthma epidemic.

  title={The asthma epidemic.},
  author={Waltraud Eder and Markus Johannes Ege and Erika von Mutius},
  journal={The New England journal of medicine},
  volume={355 21},
This review surveys the data on the increase in the prevalence of asthma in recent decades and finds evidence of a plateau in many Western countries. The authors examine the evidence of possible causal relations to factors such as air pollution, obesity, diet, and exposure to infections, antibiotics, and allergens, including exposures at very young ages. The most strongly supported preventive measure is the avoidance of passive and active exposure to smoke. 

Figures from this paper

Assessing the relationship between obesity and asthma in adolescent patients: a review

  • K. RossM. Hart
  • Medicine
    Adolescent health, medicine and therapeutics
  • 2013
Evidence is discussed that suggests that obesity adversely influences asthma through multiple mechanisms, including asthma incidence, the severity and control of existing asthma, lung function, and exacerbations, during adolescence.

The association between smoking and asthma

Previous studies aimed to summarize previous studies and gave some information on the association between asthma and smoking to researchers and found smoking results in a faster reduction in asthmatics and parental smoking causes a decrease in neonatal lung function.

Asthma in school age : prevalence, incidence and remission in relation to environmental determinants. The Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) Studies, Thesis XI

The prevalence of asthma among children and adolescents has risen and asthma has become an important public health challenge in Sweden as well as in many other ...

Trends in the prevalence of asthma.

It is likely that changes in incidence and prevalence are due to multiple factors, each contributing a relatively small effect, and longitudinal studies from pregnancy through childhood to adulthood will yield greater insights into the complex pathways leading to asthma.

The prevalence of asthma in Iranian adults: The first national survey and the most recent updates

This work aimed to identify the prevalence of asthma and asthma symptoms in adults living in urban and rural areas of Iran as a populated country with about 80 millions of residents.

Changes in the relationship between childhood asthma and ambient air pollution in Taiwan: Results from a nationwide survey repeated 5 years apart

Investigation of changes in the association between childhood asthma and ambient air pollution occurring over time found shift in environmental exposure was one of the plausible explanations.

Asthma and Mediterranean diet

A recent number of investigations agree that adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern can be associated with a decreased risk of current asthma symptoms, and although this evidence is promising, further research is needed.

The relationship of early-life antibiotic use with asthma in at-risk children.

Asthma: epidemiology, etiology and risk factors

This paper evolved from the extensive literature review undertaken as part of a proposal for a longitudinal birth cohort study to examine risk factors for asthma.

Epidemiology of Asthma and Influence of Ethnicity

The data linking asthma to ethnicity and some of the factors that may explain this association are discussed, including socioeconomic status, environmental exposures, the host microbiome, and genetics.



Diet and asthma.

A perspective on where this literature on asthma is leading is presented, and efforts are made to identify priorities for further investigation.

Diverging prevalence trends of atopic disorders in Norwegian children. Results from three cross‐sectional studies

This work states that time‐trend analyses with comparable methods are important in order to monitor the rapidly changing prevalence of asthma and allergy in childhood.

Stabilization of asthma prevalence among adolescents and increase among schoolchildren (ISAAC phases I and III) in Spain *

The prevalence of asthma in a very large sample of children, repeating the study eight years apart, shows a steep increase in asthma prevalence in the last decades, although few studies had applied the same methodology.

Trends in prevalence of symptoms of asthma, hay fever, and eczema in 12-14 year olds in the British Isles, 1995-2002: questionnaire survey

The evidence from most repeat surveys is that prevalence has increased over the past three decades, but the most recent of these studies observed that from 1991 to 1998 the increase was confined to milder symptoms of asthma.

Prevalence of asthma and asthma action plans in South Australia: population surveys from 1990 to 2001

Trends in the prevalence of self‐reported doctor‐diagnosed asthma, associated asthma related morbidity, and the uptake of written asthma action plans in South Australia, 1990–2001 are assessed.

Declining asthma prevalence in Hong Kong Chinese schoolchildren

  • G. WongT. Leung C. Lai
  • Medicine
    Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • 2004
This work reports an increase in the prevalence of asthma and related atopic disorders and the lack of standardized methodologies and ‘objective’ measurements makes reliable comparison and monitoring of trends of asthma very difficult.

Incidence of asthma in Swedish teenagers: relation to sex and smoking habits.

The yearly incidence of asthma was about 1% between the ages of 16 and 19 years, and smoking and female sex were found to be risk factors for asthma.

Change in prevalence of asthma in Danish children and adolescents.

Changing prevalence of asthma in school children: evidence for diagnostic changes in asthma in two surveys 13 yrs apart.

The larger increase in diagnosed asthma than wheezing and a reduced association between asthma and other atopic diseases suggest that the increase in asthma may be explained, in part, by changes in diagnostic criteria.

Early prescriptions of antibiotics and the risk of allergic disease in adults: a cohort study.

The reported associations between childhood antibiotic use and asthma are most plausibly explained by "reverse causation"--the tendency for prescriptions to be written for the early manifestations of pre-existing asthma.