Published this week in the British Medical Journal, the data is based on questionnaires completed by middle-aged residents of two Scottish towns in 1972-6 and then by their adult children in 1996. After adjusting the results for changes in diagnosis of the condition, the researchers conclude that allergy-related asthma in adults more than doubled over the period, while non-allergy related asthma rates remained stable.
They claim that the study probably reflects trends in the general population, suggesting that a doubling of adult allergic asthma in the two decades to 1996 is a general phenomenon. Emissions of fine particles from motor vehicles and other sources are among the candidate causes for the increase (ENDS Daily 26 January).
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