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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 19  |  Page : 41--50

Respiratory and dermatological diseases in children with long-term exposure to road traffic immissions

1 Umweltbundesamt a.D, Berlin, Germany
2 Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Sicherung, Dienstsitz Berlin, Germany
3 Practising paediatrician in the district of Osterode/Harz, Germany
4 ENT-specialist, Osterode/Harz, Germany

Correspondence Address:
H Ising
Rheinstr. 69, D-14612 Falkensee
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12804211

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The pathogenesis of allergies can be stimulated by adjuvant effects - i.e. air pollutants such as NO 2 and particles from diesel exhausts as well as noise - the latter especially during night-time. During sleep, noise signals which are associated with danger (i.e. lorry noise) have the potential to trigger stress reactions even if the noise level is low. Increases of cortisol in the first half of the night seem to play an important role. In a blind interview study, the combined effects of chronic exposure to traffic related air pollution and noise, upon the risk of skin and respiratory diseases in children were studied. All children between 5-12 years, who had consulted one of two participating paediatricians were included in the study. The paediatricians diagnoses of 400 children were analysed together with their parents answers regarding the density of road traffic on their street and several confounding factors. Multiple regression analyses resulted in relative risks of asthma, chronic bronchitis and neurodermitis, which increased significantly with increasing traffic load. A comparison with the literature on such effects caused by air pollution alone, showed that traffic noise during the night might have an adjuvant effect on the pathogenesis of the mentioned diseases.


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