Document Detail

Influence of poverty and infection on asthma in Latin America.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22391754     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Asthma in Latin America is a growing public health problem and seems to be most prevalent and cause most morbidity among poor urban populations. This article will review the findings of recent human studies of the associations of asthma prevalence in Latin America with factors associated with poverty and inequality including childhood infections, stress, environment, nutrition and diet.
RECENT FINDINGS: Most asthma in childhood in Latin America is nonatopic and has been associated with exposures related to environmental dirt, diet and psychosocial distress. These factors are strongly linked to poverty and inequality. Interestingly, infections with bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens in childhood appear to attenuate atopy in childhood but have no effect on asthma symptoms. There are biologically plausible mechanisms by which dirt exposures (e.g. endotoxin and other microbial products and nonmicrobial irritants), diet and obesity and psychosocial stress may cause airways inflammation.
SUMMARY: Most childhood asthma in Latin America is nonatopic for which important risk factors are those of poverty including poor hygiene (i.e. dirt), poor diet and obesity and psychosocial stress. There is evidence that exposures to infections in early childhood reduce atopy but not asthma. Research is needed to identify causes of nonatopic asthma that may be suitable for primary prevention or other public health intervention strategies for asthma in Latin America.
Philip J Cooper; Laura C Rodrigues; Mauricio L Barreto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1473-6322     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-06     Completed Date:  2012-07-13     Revised Date:  2014-02-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100936359     Medline TA:  Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  171-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Asthma / epidemiology*,  microbiology
Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
Diet / statistics & numerical data
Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
Latin America / epidemiology
Obesity / epidemiology,  microbiology
Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology,  microbiology
Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
Risk Factors
Soil Microbiology
Stress, Psychological / epidemiology,  microbiology
Violence / statistics & numerical data
Virus Diseases / epidemiology*
Grant Support
072405/Z/03/Z//Wellcome Trust; 088862//Wellcome Trust; 088862/Z/09/Z//Wellcome Trust

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