Causes of asthma and allergy

Projects at the Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM)

From fetal life to young adulthood: early exposures, socioeconomic factors, nutrition and health

The overall aim of the proposed project is to investigate the influence of early environmental exposures (such as secondhand tobacco smoking and indoor environment), socioeconomic factors and nutrition on health, in particular development of allergy related diseases such as asthma, eczema, rhinitis, food hypersensitivity and sensitisation to inhalant and food allergens. Furthermore, we will examine the association between allergy related diseases in childhood and subsequent development of overweight and obesity in young adulthood.

This research is conducted within a Swedish prospective population-based birth cohort (BAMSE) where 4,089 children have been followed repeatedly from infancy to adolescence (age 16 years). Extensive information on exposures and phenotypes is available based on questionnaires, clinical examinations, blood samples, and national health registers. The project makes use of the already collected data, but also includes a new follow-up of the cohort participants at age 22-24 years.

The project will contribute to the understanding of how early environmental exposures, childhood diet and overweight/obesity influence developmental or protective factors of common diseases such as asthma, eczema and food hypersensitivity form childhood to early adulthood.

Financing

  • The Swedish Research Council
  • The Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare

Contact person

Senior researcher

Anna Bergström

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 874 56
Organizational unit: Environmental epidemiology
E-mail: Anna.Bergstrom@ki.se

Publications

Fish consumption in infancy and development of allergic disease up to age 12 y.
Magnusson J, Kull I, Rosenlund H, Håkansson N, Wolk A, Melén E, et al
Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013 Jun;97(6):1324-30

Maternal body mass index in early pregnancy and offspring asthma, rhinitis and eczema up to 16 years of age.
Ekström S, Magnusson J, Kull I, Lind T, Almqvist C, Melén E, et al
Clin. Exp. Allergy 2015 Jan;45(1):283-91

Pre- and postnatal exposure to parental smoking and allergic disease through adolescence.
Thacher J, Gruzieva O, Pershagen G, Neuman , Wickman M, Kull I, et al
Pediatrics 2014 Sep;134(3):428-34

Web-based self-reported height, weight, and body mass index among Swedish adolescents: a validation study.
Ekström S, Kull I, Nilsson S, Bergström A
J. Med. Internet Res. 2015 Mar;17(3):e73

Parental smoking and development of allergic sensitization from birth to adolescence.
Thacher J, Gruzieva O, Pershagen G, Neuman , van Hage M, Wickman M, et al
Allergy 2016 Feb;71(2):239-48


Nutrition and allergic diseases from childhood to early adulthood

The overall aim of the project is to investigate the role of nutritional factors (diet, dietary supplements, and  plasma levels of fatty acids in childhood)  in relation to persistence, remission and new onset of allergic diseases such as asthma, rhinitis and eczema, from childhood to early adulthood.

The research is conducted within a prospective birth cohort (BAMSE) where 4,089 children have been followed repeatedly from infancy to adolescence. Extensive information on exposures and disease phenotypes is available based on questionnaires, clinical examinations and blood samples. The project will utilize of the already collected data, but during the course of the project we will also perform a new follow-up of the cohort participants at age 22-24 years.

The development of allergy related diseases is a dynamic process, with substantial disease turnover with many new and remitting cases throughout childhood. This current project will contribute to the understanding of the influence of childhood nutrition for the development of allergic diseases from childhood to early adulthood. Dietary intervention represents a possible approach that could contribute to the prevention or alleviation of allergic disease. Therefore, our findings can potentially contribute to strengthening and developing the dietary recommendations.

Financing

  • The Swedish Asthma and Allergy Foundation

Contact person

Senior researcher

Anna Bergström

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 874 56
Organizational unit: Environmental epidemiology
E-mail: Anna.Bergstrom@ki.se

Publications

Fish and polyunsaturated fat intake and development of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis.
Magnusson J, Kull I, Westman M, Håkansson N, Wolk A, Melén E, et al
J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2015 Nov;136(5):1247-53.e1-2


Indoor environment and respiratory health – a longitudinal study from childhood to early adulthood

The overall aim of the proposed project is to investigate the influence of certain indoor environmental factors on respiratory health from childhood to early adulthood. In particular, we will investigate the role of early exposure to mould, dampness, and seccondhand tobacco smoke) in asthma and lung function development from childhood to early adulthood. In addition, we will collect urine samples and investigate urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolites in relation to asthma and lung function in young adulthood.

This research is conducted within the Swedish prospective population-based birth cohort BAMSE where 4,089 children have been followed repeatedly from infancy to adolescence (age 16 years). Extensive information on exposures and phenotypes is available based on questionnaires, clinical examinations (including measurement of lung function), and blood samples. The planned project will make use of the already collected data, but also includes a new follow-up of the cohort participants at age 22-24 years.

Although we spend the majority of the time indoors, there is limited information on how early exposure to indoor environmental factors (e.g. mould, dampness, and SHS) affects asthma and lung function into adulthood. Combining analyses of available epidemiological data with urine for biomarkers, the proposed studies will contribute to the understanding of how indoor environment influence respiratory health.

Financing

  • The Swedish Research Council FORMAS

Contact person

Senior researcher

Anna Bergström

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 874 56
Organizational unit: Environmental epidemiology
E-mail: Anna.Bergstrom@ki.se

Publications

Mold and dampness exposure and allergic outcomes from birth to adolescence: data from the BAMSE cohort.
Thacher J, Gruzieva O, Pershagen G, Melén E, Lorentzen J, Kull I, et al
Allergy 2017 Jun;72(6):967-974

AllergyAsthma