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TITLE Asthma, allergy and environmental factors   200715.pdf (1.15 MB)
Document ID LIB576
Document type Scientific advisory body opinion/advice
Issue date 07/02/2008
Document reference ISBN: 978-90-5549-676-1
Original language of the document English
Full text available in EN (1.15 MB)
Document produced by Health Council of the Netherlands organisation visiting card
Document uploaded by Mitra Javanmardi
Health Council of the Netherlands
Scientific domains
Policy domains
  • Health


Short description  Only a combination of measures can reduce the incidence of asthma and allergy
Asthma and allergy are very common disorders in the Netherlands. Part of the children with asthma and allergy are the offspring of parents with the same disorders, but this is not true for the majority. Environmental factors also play an important role, but the exact effect of environmental factors on the development of allergy and asthma is still largely unknown. This report deals with trends in the prevention of allergy and asthma, the role herein of environmental factors, and environmental measures that might reduce and perhaps even prevent the symptoms of asthma and allergy. People who suffer from asthma or allergy should not come into contact with the stimuli that cause their symptoms as far as possible. However, the use of special air filters or mattress and bedding covers that resist house dust mites reduces the exposure insufficiently in daily practice to cause a measurable decrease in the symptoms. Combinations of interventions that are specially designed for the individual patient may be more effective, but insufficient research has so far been done to permit practical recommendations. Avoiding tobacco smoke certainly helps.
Parents who wish to prevent their child from developing asthma or allergy would be well advised to avoid smoking during and after the pregnancy and to give exclusive breastfeeding for at least three to four months. Attempts to prevent the development of asthma and allergy by means of simple measures intended to reduce the exposure to allergens have until now been unsuccessful. Combinations of interventions may again be more effective.
Abstract (focusing on the key recommendations)  Asthma and allergy are very common disorders, which have major effects on an individual’s quality of life. Increases in asthma and allergy were reported during the final decades of the 20th century, particularly among children. This was not restricted to the Netherlands, as other western countries were similarly affected. With reference to this, the State Secretary for the Environment, has request ...

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