Epidemiology of Asthma, Atopy, and Atopic Disease

Debbie L. Jarvis*, Seif O. Shaheen, Peter Burney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Asthma, atopy, and atopic diseases are very prevalent andbecoming still more prevalent in the adult population. Althoughthe increase among children may have become less universal,the epidemic is likely to continue among adults. The hypothesescurrently being explored to explain the high prevalence ofasthma and atopic disease will probably not explain the wholeof the increase or the major part of the variation in prevalenceof these conditions. However, it is important that we understandthese diseases better if we are to provide effective strategies formanaging the epidemic. This understanding will require thecombination of good mechanistic studies with high-qualityepidemiologic studies involving wide varieties of populations.Confirmation of the findings will only come from large-scaleintervention studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAllergy and Allergic Diseases, Second Edition
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781405157209
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • Allergic Rhinitis and Impact in Asthma (ARIA)
  • Diet and smoking
  • Genetics and exposure to allergen
  • Geographic variation - in prevalence of IgE sensitization
  • Hygiene hypothesis, infections, farming, and parasites
  • IgE sensitization and asthma and allergic disease
  • Personal risk factors
  • Rhinitis - inflammation of nose
  • Skin-prick tests or radioallergosorbent test (RAST)


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