, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 139-146
Date: 27 Apr 2008

The effect of air pollution on asthma and allergy

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Abstract

Air pollution exposure is associated with increased asthma and allergy morbidity and is a suspected contributor to the increasing prevalence of allergic conditions. Observational studies continue to strengthen the association between air pollution and allergic respiratory disease, whereas recent mechanistic studies have defined the prominent role of oxidative stress in the proallergic immunologic effects of particulate and gaseous pollutants. The identification of common genetic polymorphisms in key cytoprotective responses to oxidative stress has highlighted the importance of individual host susceptibility to pollutant-induced inflammation. Future therapy to reduce the adverse effects of air pollution on allergic respiratory disease will likely depend on targeting susceptible populations for treatment that reduces oxidative stress, potentially through enhancement of phase 2 enzymes or other antioxidant defenses.