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Special Issue "Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022 | Viewed by 8233

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Shyamali Dharmage
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Allergy and Lung Health Unit, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Interests: epidemiology; respiratory medicine; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); asthma; allergy; risk factors
Dr. Dinh Bui
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Allergy and Lung Health Unit, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Interests: epidemiology; respiratory medicine; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); asthma; lung health
Dr. Gayan Bowatte
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Allergy and Lung Health Unit, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Interests: epidemiology; respiratory medicine; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); asthma; air pollution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Allergic and chronic lung diseases, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are now a worldwide public health problem. The complex and multifactorial features of these conditions make them a prevailing public health challenge. Advancing our understanding of the role of environmental and genetic factors and their interaction in the aetiology of these conditions is warranted to inform more effective prevention and management strategies.

This Special Issue is devoted to the consolidation of evidence of the impact of environmental factors on allergic diseases and lung health throughout the life course. We invite high-quality research that seeks to understand the epidemiology, burden, treatment and management of asthma, allergic rhinitis, COPD and lung development and decline in relation to environmental factors and their interaction with genetic traits. Environmental factors include, but are not limited to, individual non-genetic factors (e.g., smoking, infection and nutrition) as well as features of the physical environment (e.g., outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution, greenness, the built environment, pollen and fungi). Original research papers and review articles (both systematic and narrative) are welcome.

We hope you will consider contributing to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Shyamali Dharmage
Dr. Dinh Bui
Dr. Gayan Bowatte
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Allergic disease
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • COPD
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Respiratory health
  • Lung function
  • Lung health
  • Environmental exposures
  • Air pollution
  • Greenness
  • Pollen
  • Fungi
  • Gene-environmental interaction

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Ambient Air Pollution and Risk of Admission Due to Asthma in the Three Largest Urban Agglomerations in Poland: A Time-Stratified, Case-Crossover Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105988 - 14 May 2022
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Ambient air pollution in urban areas may trigger asthma exacerbations. We carried out a time-series analysis of the association between the concentrations of various air pollutants and the risk of hospital admission due to asthma over 7 days from exposure. We used distributed [...] Read more.
Ambient air pollution in urban areas may trigger asthma exacerbations. We carried out a time-series analysis of the association between the concentrations of various air pollutants and the risk of hospital admission due to asthma over 7 days from exposure. We used distributed lag nonlinear models to analyze data gathered between 2010 and 2018 in the three largest urban agglomerations in Poland. Overall, there were 31,919 asthma hospitalizations. Over 7 days since exposure, the rate ratio (95%CI) for admission per 10 µg/m3 was 1.013 (1.002–1.024) for PM10; 1.014 (1.000–1.028) for PM2.5; 1.054 (1.031–1.078) for NO2; and 1.044 for SO2 (95%CI: 0.986–1.104). For all pollutants, the risk of admission was the greatest on the day of exposure (day 0), decreased below baseline on days 1 and 2, and then increased gradually up to day 6. The proportions (95%CI) of hospitalizations attributable to air pollution were 4.52% (0.80%–8.14%) for PM10; 3.74% (0.29%–7.11%) for PM2.5; 16.4% (10.0%–21.8%) for NO2; and 2.50% (−0.75%–5.36%) for SO2. In conclusion, PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and SO2 pollution was associated with an increased risk of hospital admission due to asthma in the three largest urban agglomerations in Poland over nine years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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Article
Ambient PM2.5 and PM10 Exposure and Respiratory Disease Hospitalization in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9617; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189617 - 12 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1236
Abstract
Evidence of associations between exposure to ambient air pollution and health outcomes are sparse in the South Asian region due to limited air pollution exposure and quality health data. This study investigated the potential impacts of ambient particulate matter (PM) on respiratory disease [...] Read more.
Evidence of associations between exposure to ambient air pollution and health outcomes are sparse in the South Asian region due to limited air pollution exposure and quality health data. This study investigated the potential impacts of ambient particulate matter (PM) on respiratory disease hospitalization in Kandy, Sri Lanka for the year 2019. The Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was applied to estimate the short-term effect of ambient PM on respiratory disease hospitalization. As the second analysis, respiratory disease hospitalizations during two distinct air pollution periods were analyzed. Each 10 μg/m3 increase in same-day exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 was associated with an increased risk of respiratory disease hospitalization by 1.95% (0.25, 3.67) and 1.63% (0.16, 3.12), respectively. The effect of PM2.5 or PM10 on asthma hospitalizations were 4.67% (1.23, 8.23) and 4.04% (1.06, 7.11), respectively (p < 0.05). The 65+ years age group had a higher risk associated with PM2.5 and PM10 exposure and hospital admissions for all respiratory diseases on the same day (2.74% and 2.28%, respectively). Compared to the lower ambient air pollution period, higher increased hospital admissions were observed among those aged above 65 years, males, and COPD and pneumonia hospital admissions during the high ambient air pollution period. Active efforts are crucial to improve ambient air quality in this region to reduce the health effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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Article
Relationship Between Air Pollution and the Concentration of Nitric Oxide in the Exhaled Air (FeNO) in 8–9-Year-Old School Children in Krakow
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136690 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
The consequences of air pollution pose one of the most serious threats to human health, and especially impact children from large agglomerations. The measurement of nitric oxide concentration in exhaled air (FeNO) is a valuable biomarker in detecting and monitoring airway inflammation. However, [...] Read more.
The consequences of air pollution pose one of the most serious threats to human health, and especially impact children from large agglomerations. The measurement of nitric oxide concentration in exhaled air (FeNO) is a valuable biomarker in detecting and monitoring airway inflammation. However, only a few studies have assessed the relationship between FeNO and the level of air pollution. The study aims to estimate the concentration of FeNO in the population of children aged 8–9 attending the third grade of public primary schools in Krakow, as well as to determine the relationship between FeNO concentration and dust and gaseous air pollutants. The research included 4580 children aged 8–9 years who had two FeNO measurements in the winter–autumn and spring–summer periods. The degree of air pollution was obtained from the Regional Inspectorate of Environmental Protection in Krakow. The concentration of pollutants was obtained from three measurement stations located in different parts of the city. The FeNO results were related to air pollution parameters. The study showed weak but significant relationships between FeNO and air pollution parameters. The most significant positive correlations were found for CO8h (r = 0.1491, p < 0.001), C6H6 (r = 0.1420, p < 0.001), PM10 (r = 0.1054, p < 0.001) and PM2.5 (r = 0.1112, p < 0.001). We suggest that particulate and gaseous air pollutants impact FeNO concentration in children aged 8–9 years. More research is needed to assess the impact of air pollution on FeNO concentration in children. The results of such studies could help to explain the increase in the number of allergic and respiratory diseases seen in children in recent decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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Article
Household Air Pollution from Biomass Fuel for Cooking and Adverse Fetal Growth Outcomes in Rural Sri Lanka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041878 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of biomass fuel for cooking on adverse fetal growth outcomes in Sri Lanka. A cross-sectional study of mothers recruited at maternity clinics in rural communities in Sri Lanka’s Central Province was undertaken. Data [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of biomass fuel for cooking on adverse fetal growth outcomes in Sri Lanka. A cross-sectional study of mothers recruited at maternity clinics in rural communities in Sri Lanka’s Central Province was undertaken. Data pertaining to household air pollution and fetal growth parameters were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, were used to evaluate the impact of biomass fuel for cooking on low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA) parameters. Findings showed that exposure to biomass cooking fuels during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of LBW adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.74 (95% CI 1.08–6.96) and SGA (aOR: 1.87, 95% CI 1.03–3.41) compared with the use of clean energy. The risk of LBW was highest for traditional biomass stoves compared to improved biomass stoves (aOR: 3.23, 95% 1.17–8.89) and biomass use in kitchens without a chimney compared to kitchens with a chimney (aOR: 4.63, 95% 1.54–13.93). Similar trends were observed for SGA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
Article
Impact of a Positive Viral Polymerase Chain Reaction on Outcomes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Exacerbations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218072 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Introduction: More than 15 million adults in the USA have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) places a high burden on the healthcare system. Many hospital admissions are due to an exacerbation, which is suspected to be from a viral [...] Read more.
Introduction: More than 15 million adults in the USA have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) places a high burden on the healthcare system. Many hospital admissions are due to an exacerbation, which is suspected to be from a viral cause. The purpose of this analysis was to compare the outcomes of patients with a positive and negative respiratory virus panel who were admitted to the hospital with COPD exacerbations. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in the Geisinger Healthcare System. The dataset included 2729 patient encounters between 1 January 2006 and 30 November 2017. Hospital length of stay was calculated as the discrete number of calendar days a patient was in the hospital. Patient encounters with a positive and negative respiratory virus panel were compared using Pearson’s chi-square or Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables and Student’s t-test or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests for continuous variables. Results: There were 1626 patients with a total of 2729 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation encounters. Nineteen percent of those encounters (n = 524) had a respiratory virus panel performed during their admission. Among these encounters, 161 (30.7%) had positive results, and 363 (69.3%) had negative results. For encounters with the respiratory virus panel, the mean age was 64.5, 59.5% were female, 98.9% were white, and the mean body mass index was 26.6. Those with a negative respiratory virus panel had a higher median white blood cell count (11.1 vs. 9.9, p = 0.0076). There were no other statistically significant differences in characteristics between the two groups. Respiratory virus panel positive patients had a statistically significant longer hospital length of stay. There were no significant differences with respect to being on mechanical ventilation or ventilation-free days. Conclusion: This study shows that a positive respiratory virus panel is associated with increased length of hospital stay. Early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation patients with positive viral panel would help identify patients with a longer length of stay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)

Review

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Review
An Overview of Environmental Risk Factors for Food Allergy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020722 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
IgE-mediated food allergy is an increasing public health concern in many regions around the world. Although genetics play a role in the development of food allergy, the reported increase has occurred largely within a single generation and therefore it is unlikely that this [...] Read more.
IgE-mediated food allergy is an increasing public health concern in many regions around the world. Although genetics play a role in the development of food allergy, the reported increase has occurred largely within a single generation and therefore it is unlikely that this can be accounted for by changes in the human genome. Environmental factors must play a key role. While there is strong evidence to support the early introduction of allergenic solids to prevent food allergy, this is unlikely to be sufficient to prevent all food allergy. The purpose of this review is to summarize the evidence on risk factors for food allergy with a focus the outdoor physical environment. We discuss emerging evidence of mechanisms that could explain a role for vitamin D, air pollution, environmental greenness, and pollen exposure in the development of food allergy. We also describe the recent extension of the dual allergen exposure hypothesis to potentially include the respiratory epithelial barrier in addition to the skin. Few existing studies have examined the relationship between these environmental factors with objective measures of IgE-mediated food allergy and further research in this area is needed. Future research also needs to consider the complex interplay between multiple environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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Review
The Exposome Approach in Allergies and Lung Diseases: Is It Time to Define a Preconception Exposome?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12684; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312684 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Emerging research suggests environmental exposures before conception may adversely affect allergies and lung diseases in future generations. Most studies are limited as they have focused on single exposures, not considering that these diseases have a multifactorial origin in which environmental and lifestyle factors [...] Read more.
Emerging research suggests environmental exposures before conception may adversely affect allergies and lung diseases in future generations. Most studies are limited as they have focused on single exposures, not considering that these diseases have a multifactorial origin in which environmental and lifestyle factors are likely to interact. Traditional exposure assessment methods fail to capture the interactions among environmental exposures and their impact on fundamental biological processes, as well as individual and temporal factors. A valid estimation of exposure preconception is difficult since the human reproductive cycle spans decades and the access to germ cells is limited. The exposome is defined as the cumulative measure of external exposures on an organism (external exposome), and the associated biological responses (endogenous exposome) throughout the lifespan, from conception and onwards. An exposome approach implies a targeted or agnostic analysis of the concurrent and temporal multiple exposures, and may, together with recent technological advances, improve the assessment of the environmental contributors to health and disease. This review describes the current knowledge on preconception environmental exposures as related to respiratory health outcomes in offspring. We discuss the usefulness and feasibility of using an exposome approach in this research, advocating for the preconception exposure window to become included in the exposome concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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Review
Environmental and Endogenous Acids Can Trigger Allergic-Type Airway Reactions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134688 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Inflammatory allergic and nonallergic respiratory disorders are spreading worldwide and often coexist. The root cause is not clear. This review demonstrates that, from a biochemical point of view, it is ascribable to protons (H+) released into cells by exogenous and endogenous [...] Read more.
Inflammatory allergic and nonallergic respiratory disorders are spreading worldwide and often coexist. The root cause is not clear. This review demonstrates that, from a biochemical point of view, it is ascribable to protons (H+) released into cells by exogenous and endogenous acids. The hypothesis of acids as the common cause stems from two considerations: (a) it has long been known that exogenous acids present in air pollutants can induce the irritation of epithelial surfaces, particularly the airways, inflammation, and bronchospasm; (b) according to recent articles, endogenous acids, generated in cells by phospholipases, play a key role in the biochemical mechanisms of initiation and progression of allergic-type reactions. Therefore, the intracellular acidification and consequent Ca2+ increase, induced by protons generated by either acid pollutants or endogenous phospholipases, may constitute the basic mechanism of the multimorbidity of these disorders, and environmental acidity may contribute to their spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Factors, Allergic Diseases and Lung Health)
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