Climate Change and the Impact on Respiratory and Allergic Disease: 2018

  • Jeffrey G. Demain
Allergies and the Environment (M Hernandez, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Allergies and the Environment


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?

Recent Findings

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.


Climate 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of AlaskaAnchorageUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonAnchorageUSA
  3. 3.WWAMI School of Medical EducationUniversity of AlaskaAnchorageUSA

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