Climate Change and the Impact on Respiratory and Allergic Disease: 2018
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this paper is to review allergic respiratory disease related to indoor and outdoor exposures and to examine the impact of known and projected changes in climate. The global burden of disease directly attributed to climate change is very difficult to measure and becomes more challenging when the capacity of humans to adapt to these changes is taken into consideration. Allergic respiratory disease, such as asthma, is quite heterogenous, though closely associated with environmental and consequently immunologic interaction. Where is the tipping point?
Our climate has been measurably changing for the past 100 years. It may indeed be the most significant health threat of the twenty-first century, and consequently tackling climate change may be the greatest health opportunity. The impacts of climate change on human health are varied and coming more into focus. Direct effects, such as heatwaves, severe weather, drought, and flooding, are apparent and frequently in the news. Indirect or secondary effects, such as changes in ecosystems and the impact on health, are less obvious. It is these changes in ecosystems that may have the greatest impact on allergic and respiratory diseases.
This review will explore some ways that climate change, current and predicted, influences respiratory disease. Discussion will focus on changing pollen patterns, damp buildings with increased mold exposure, air pollution, and heat stress.
KeywordsClimate change Global warming Pollination Pollen Damp buildings Mold Allergy Asthma Respiratory disease Heat stress
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The author declares no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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