Traffic exposure associated with allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis in adults. A cross-sectional study in southern Sweden.

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T1 - Traffic exposure associated with allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis in adults. A cross-sectional study in southern Sweden.

AU - Lindgren, Anna

AU - Stroh, Emilie

AU - Nihlén, Ulf

AU - Montnemery, Peter

AU - Axmon, Anna

AU - Jakobsson, Kristina

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - BACKGROUND: There is conflicting evidence that traffic-related air pollution is a risk factor for allergic conditions. Few studies have investigated this in adults. In adults, a high proportion of asthma, rhinitis and eczema is triggered by non-allergic factors. We investigated traffic as a risk factor for allergic versus non-allergic asthma and rhinitis, and eczema, in adults. A questionnaire from 2000 (n = 9319, 18-77 years) provided individual data about disease outcome and self-reported traffic exposure. Additional exposure assessments were obtained using Geographical Informations Systems (GIS). Residential addresses were linked to the national Swedish Road Database and to a pollutant database with modelled annual means of NOx (Nitrogen Oxids). RESULTS: Living within 100 m from a road with a traffic intensity of >10 cars/min (24 hour mean) was associated with prevalence of current asthma reported to be triggered by allergic factors (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.23-2.72) and with allergic rhinitis (OR = 1.30, 95%CI = (1.05-1.61). No relation was seen with asthma or rhinitis triggered by other factors. Living within 100 m of a road with >10 cars/min was also associated with hand-eczema during the last 12 months (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.19-2.23), but not with allergic eczema or diagnosed hand-eczema. Consistent results were seen using self-reported traffic, but the associations with NOx were less consistent. CONCLUSION: Exposure to traffic was associated with a higher prevalence of allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis, but not with asthma or rhinitis triggered by non-allergic factors. This difference was suggested by the overall pattern, but only clear using GIS-measured traffic intensity as a proxy for traffic exposure. An association was also found with hand-eczema during the last 12 months. We suggest that asthma and rhinitis should not be treated as homogenous groups when estimating effects from traffic in adults.

AB - BACKGROUND: There is conflicting evidence that traffic-related air pollution is a risk factor for allergic conditions. Few studies have investigated this in adults. In adults, a high proportion of asthma, rhinitis and eczema is triggered by non-allergic factors. We investigated traffic as a risk factor for allergic versus non-allergic asthma and rhinitis, and eczema, in adults. A questionnaire from 2000 (n = 9319, 18-77 years) provided individual data about disease outcome and self-reported traffic exposure. Additional exposure assessments were obtained using Geographical Informations Systems (GIS). Residential addresses were linked to the national Swedish Road Database and to a pollutant database with modelled annual means of NOx (Nitrogen Oxids). RESULTS: Living within 100 m from a road with a traffic intensity of >10 cars/min (24 hour mean) was associated with prevalence of current asthma reported to be triggered by allergic factors (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.23-2.72) and with allergic rhinitis (OR = 1.30, 95%CI = (1.05-1.61). No relation was seen with asthma or rhinitis triggered by other factors. Living within 100 m of a road with >10 cars/min was also associated with hand-eczema during the last 12 months (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.19-2.23), but not with allergic eczema or diagnosed hand-eczema. Consistent results were seen using self-reported traffic, but the associations with NOx were less consistent. CONCLUSION: Exposure to traffic was associated with a higher prevalence of allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis, but not with asthma or rhinitis triggered by non-allergic factors. This difference was suggested by the overall pattern, but only clear using GIS-measured traffic intensity as a proxy for traffic exposure. An association was also found with hand-eczema during the last 12 months. We suggest that asthma and rhinitis should not be treated as homogenous groups when estimating effects from traffic in adults.

U2 - 10.1186/1476-072X-8-25

DO - 10.1186/1476-072X-8-25

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - International Journal of Health Geographics

T2 - International Journal of Health Geographics

JF - International Journal of Health Geographics

SN - 1476-072X

IS - May 6

M1 - 25

ER -