Posted by: Chris Maloney | November 2, 2012

Like Autism, Asthma and Allergic Runny Noses Have Doubled in Children.

Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflo...

Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 μm long. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we see information about diseases, it’s hard to see a larger trend until we have decades of data.  With Asthma, we have that data, and in this particular survey the incidence of asthma went from 7% of the children between 7-14 to 17% of those children in the period since 1985.  Children with allergic rhinitis went from 16% to 25% of the population.

Now, some of the difference in asthma is the changing nature of the diagnosis, but to my knowledge a runny nose is still a runny nose a quarter century later.  So we need to see the trend toward autoimmunity is dramatic, and is present in our youngest, healthiest population groups.

What this means I’m not sure, but I have my ideas.  The problem is multifactorial, which means it probably won’t be solved by simply increasing medication.

Increasing prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema among school children: Three surveys during the period 1985-2008

Acta Pediatrica, 11/01/2012

Hansen TE et al. – A repeated cross–sectional survey between 1985–2008 documented an increasing prevalence of asthma ever and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR) ever among schoolchildren (7–14 years), together with a considerably increase in current asthma, AR and eczema between 1995–2008.


• A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey was carried out in 2008 among children aged 7-14 years in random selected schools in Nordland County, Norway (n=4150).

•The results are compared with results from identical studies in 1985 (n=4870) and 1995 (n=4456).


•The main findings were an increasing prevalence of asthma ever (7.3% in 1985 to 17.6% in 2008, p for trend < 0.001) and AR ever (15.9% in 1985 to 24.5% in 2008, p for trend < 0.001), while the prevalence of eczema ever, after an increase between 1985 and 1995, remained unchanged in the last time period.

•The prevalence of current disease doubled and trebled between 1995 and 2008 for all three diseases.



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