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Climate change, air pollution, and allergic respiratory diseases: an update

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Purpose of review

The rising trend in prevalence of allergic respiratory disease and bronchial asthma, observed over the last decades, can be explained by changes occurring in the environment, with increasing presence of biologic, such as allergens, and chemical atmospheric trigger factors able to stimulate the sensitization and symptoms of these diseases.

Recent findings

Many studies have shown changes in production, dispersion, and allergen content of pollen and spores because of climate change with an increasing effect of aeroallergens on allergic patients.Summary

Over the last 50 years, global earth's temperature has markedly risen likely because of growing emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Major changes involving the atmosphere and the climate, including global warming induced by human activity, have a major impact on the biosphere and human environment.

Urbanization and high levels of vehicle emissions are correlated to an increase in the frequency of pollen-induced respiratory allergy prevalent in people who live in urban areas compared with those who live in rural areas. Measures of mitigation need to be applied for reducing future impacts of climate change on our planet, but until global emissions continue to rise, adaptation to the impacts of future climate variability will also be required.
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Keywords: air pollution and respiratory diseases; airways hyperreactivity; climate change and asthma; climate change and respiratory allergy; thunderstorm asthma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Respiratory Diseases, High Specialty Hospital ‘A. Cardarelli’, Napoli, School of Specialization in Respiratory Diseases, University of Naples Federico II, Naples 2: Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno 3: Respiratory Department, High Speciality Hospital ‘V. Monaldi’ and University ‘Federico II’, Napoli, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2016

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