Air pollution and childhood asthma and allergy - Twitter summary from #CSACI15 meeting

Twitter summary made possible by:

Michael Brauer from UBC on air pollution and childhood asthma and allergy. Michael Bauer speaking on air pollution & asthma.

During wild fires we see increased use of ventolin and asthma exacerbations.

Correlation between PM2.5 levels (wildfire smoke) and salbutamol dispensations.

However, meta analysis shows no correlation of prevalence of asthma and pollution. Recent meta analysis shows no correlation between air pollution levels and asthma rates. The trend over time is decreased air pollution in wealthier countries while asthma rates have climbed.

Dr Brauer: Air pollution clearly exacerbates pre-existing asthma but there previously didn't appear to be links to asthma development.

Truck traffic

More truck traffic near home correlates with increased risk of asthma in 2009 study. Dr Brauer related an article that showed that reported increased truck traffic was linked to increased risk of asthma.

Small but significant association in Dutch PIAMI cohort between PM2.5 levels (traffic pollution) and asthma prevalence. More recent meta analysis looking at PM2.5 (traffic-related air pollution) specifically suggested an association with asthma.

If you look specifically at traffic pollution only, it may interact with genetic profile to predispose to asthma. Dr Brauer's group found link in BC between traffic pollution exposure and increased risk of asthma. No word on how many VW's were involved.

Now looking at traffic pollution and asthma genetics (TAG) to see if there might be a gene x environment effect. Confirmed that certain alleles coupled with pollution exposure associated with asthma, not with AR though.

In the @CHILDSTUDY, air pollution does seem to have a link towards increased risk of atopy/asthma. Air pollution does not affect development of asthma if child is greater than 6 years old.

Air pollution is fairly low in Canada but traffic related pollution is present. Mitigation strategies may be helpful. 32% of the population lives in areas influenced by traffic and 36% of primary schools in large Canadian cities.

Traffic-related air pollution in Canada, defined as fewer than 500m from highway or fewer than 100m from major road, could affect 1/3 population.

This is the definition of a 'Traffic Influence Zone:

Residential 'Greenness' appears to reduce the incidence of childhood asthma. Likely to be multi-factorial though.

13% of incident childhood asthma attributable to traffic related air pollution. Estimated 13% of incident childhood asthma in Vancouver attributable to traffic pollution.

Does traffic-related air pollution contribute to development of asthma? Growing evidence suggests consistent association.

Dr. Brauer showed very interesting data on traffic-related air pollution and asthma, hot spots near roads in Canadian cities.

Ali Hosseini from @PollutionLab is discussing how combined exposure to diesel exhaust and allergen enhances allergic inflammation.

Coal burning

Pollution such as from coal burning are not linked to asthma development but there is new concern re: ultra-fine particles. Pollutions caused by coal burning such as what used to be noted in East Germany is not a risk factor for asthma development.

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