This article is one in a series of articles on Global Pediatric Pulmonary Issues. This series will span upcoming issues of Pediatric Pulmonology.
State of the Art Series: Global Pediatric Pulmonary Issues
Childhood asthma epidemiology: Insights from comparative studies of rural and urban populations†
Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 107–116, February 2008
How to Cite
Wong, G. W.K. and Chow, C. M. (2008), Childhood asthma epidemiology: Insights from comparative studies of rural and urban populations. Pediatr. Pulmonol., 43: 107–116. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20755
- Issue online: 26 DEC 2007
- Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 15 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Received: 20 AUG 2007
- Research Grant Council of Hong Kong. Grant Numbers: CUHK 4165/02M, 4512/06M
- rural environment;
- risk factors
Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory disorders. Many epidemiology studies have suggested an increasing trend of asthma in many different regions of the world but the exact reasons explaining such trend remain unclear. Nevertheless, changing environmental factors are most likely important in explaining the trend of asthma. Studies in the past decade have clearly shown a mark difference in the prevalence between urban and rural regions. The consistent findings of a markedly lower prevalence of asthma in children and adults who have been brought up in a farming environment clearly indicate the importance of environmental influence of asthma development. Although the exact protective environmental factors in the rural region remain to be defined, there have been many studies suggesting that early exposure to microbes or microbial products may play a role in modulating the immune system so as to reduce the future risk of asthma and allergies. Advances in the understanding of the genetic predisposition and how these genetic factors may interact with specific environment factors are of paramount importance for the future development of primary preventive strategies for asthma. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008; 43:107–116. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.