J Korean Med Assoc.  2011 Feb;54(2):161-168. 10.5124/jkma.2011.54.2.161.

Climate change and respiratory allergic diseases

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hjyoon@hanyang.ac.kr

Abstract

There is a firm consensus that Earth's climate has been changed and will be changed in further future due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change affects human health and respiratory allergic diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, in various ways. The increase in both the incidence of asthma and global surface temperature in the same period suggests that climate change is a plausible explanation for the asthma epidemic. Additionally, climate change could influence also the severity and acute exacerbation of asthma. Several mechanisms were suggested to explain the effects of climate change on respiratory allergic diseases: increased exposure to pollens and molds spores, aggravated air pollutions, direct effects of extreme weather and thunderstorm and changes in respiratory infections. However, data and evidences are lacking to answer what the net effects of climate on asthma and allergic rhinitis and its mechanisms are. Great efforts and active roles are required for the physicians in developing strategies to mitigate climate change and adaptation to its effects on respiratory allergic diseases.

Keyword

Climate change; Respiratory allergic diseases; Asthma; Allergic rhinitis

MeSH Terms

Air Pollution
Asthma
Climate
Climate Change
Consensus
Fungi
Humans
Incidence
Pollen
Respiratory Tract Infections
Rhinitis
Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial
Spores
Weather
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