The possible role of aero-allergens in the epidemic of asthma deaths


Dr B. H. Davies. Director, Asthma Research Unit, Sully Hospital, Nr Penarth, South Glamorgan.


The ‘epidemic’ of asthma deaths observed m the mid 1960s remains unexplained; various aetiological factors having been suggested. We suggest that aero-allergenic factors may have been important based on an analysis of aero-allergens in Cardiff over a 17-year period: a striking temporal association exists between the concentration of hyaline ascospores and increased asthma deaths. These spores, which are particularly prevalent in the summer months, have been inadequately studied as a cause of severe asthma.