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  • Hedman, L, et al. (författare)
  • Factors related to tobacco use among teenagers.
  • 2007
  • Ingår i: Respiratory medicine. - 0954-6111. ; 101:3, s. 496-502
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • AIM: To examine tobacco use among teenagers, identify factors related to tobacco use, as well as evaluate the outcome of a smoking prevention program.METHODS: From age 7/8 to 14/15, annual questionnaires about asthma and allergy have been completed in the OLIN paediatric study in Northern Sweden. From 12/13 years, questions about tobacco use, i.e. smoking and snuff, were added. A smoking prevention program was performed during 2 years.RESULTS: Any tobacco use increased from 5.0% at age 12/13 years, to 14.4% at age 14/15. At age 14/15 years, the prevalence of tobacco use was significantly higher among boys than girls (16.7 and 12.0%, respectively). More girls than boys smoked (8.9 and 2.8%, respectively), while use of snuff was more common among the boys (15.6 and 4.2%, respectively). Significant risk factors for smoking were any of the family members currently smoking, OR 6.1 (95% CI 4.0-9.3) and a physician-diagnosed asthma at the age of 14/15 years, OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-3.0). A protective factor against tobacco use was participation in sports, OR 0.3 (95% CI 0.2-0.4). The prevention program did not result in less tobacco use, although it may have delayed smoking initiation.CONCLUSION: The patterns of tobacco use differed significantly between boys and girls. Though any tobacco use was more common among boys, girls were more likely to smoke, and boys were more likely to use snuff. Having asthma did not prevent the teenagers from smoking. Since having a smoking family member was the major risk factor for tobacco use, prevention programs should be directed at smoking families in addition to the individuals.
  • Rönmark, Eva, et al. (författare)
  • High incidence and persistence of airborne allergen sensitization up to age 19 years
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. - Wiley-Blackwell. - 0105-4538. ; 72:5, s. 723-730
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Longitudinal population-based studies about the natural history of allergic sensitization are rare. The aim was to study incidence and persistence of airborne allergen sensitization up to young adulthood and risk factors for early and late onset of sensitization.METHODS: All children aged 7-8 years in two municipalities in Northern Sweden were invited to a parental questionnaire and skin prick tests (SPTs) to ten airborne allergens, and 2148 (88%) participated. The protocol was repeated at age 11-12 and 19 years, and 1516 participated in all three examinations.RESULTS: Prevalence of any positive SPT increased from 20.6% at age 7-8 years to 30.6% at 11-12 years, and 42.1% at 19 years. Animals were the primary sensitizers at age 7-8 years, 16.3%, followed by pollen, 12.4%. Mite and mold sensitization was low. Mean annual incidence of any positive SPT varied between 2.8 and 3.4/100 per year, decreased by age for animal, and was stable for pollen. Sensitization before age 7-8 years was independently associated with family history of allergy, OR 2.1 (95% CI 1.6-2.8), urban living, OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-2.9), and male sex, OR 1.3 (95% CI 1.0-1.7), and negatively associated with birth order, OR 0.8 (95% CI 0.7-1.0), and furry animals at home, OR 0.7 (95% CI 0.7-0.9). Incidence after age 11-12 years was associated only with family history of allergy. Multisensitization at age 19 years was significantly associated with early age at sensitization. Remission of sensitization was uncommon.CONCLUSION: The increasing prevalence of allergic sensitization by age was explained by high incidence and persistence. After age 11-12 years, the factors urban living, number of siblings, and male sex lost their importance.
  • Bjerg, Anders, et al. (författare)
  • Higher Risk of Wheeze in Female than Male Smokers. Results from the Swedish GA(2)LEN Study
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Plos One. - 1932-6203. ; 8:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Women who smoke have higher risk of lung function impairment, COPD and lung cancer than smoking men. An influence of sex hormones has been demonstrated, but the mechanisms are unclear and the associations often subject to confounding. This was a study of wheeze in relation to smoking and sex with adjustment for important confounders. Methods: In 2008 the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA(2)LEN) questionnaire was mailed to 45.000 Swedes (age 16-75 years), and 26.851 (60%) participated. "Any wheeze'': any wheeze during the last 12 months. "Asthmatic wheeze'': wheeze with breathlessness apart from colds. Results: Any wheeze and asthmatic wheeze was reported by 17.3% and 7.1% of women, vs. 15.8% and 6.1% of men (both p<0.001). Although smoking prevalence was similar in both sexes, men had greater cumulative exposure, 16.2 pack-years vs. 12.8 in women (p<0.001). Most other exposures and characteristics associated with wheeze were significantly overrepresented in men. Adjusted for these potential confounders and pack-years, current smoking was a stronger risk factor for any wheeze in women aged <53 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.85 (1.56-2.19) vs. 1.60 (1.30-1.96) in men. Cumulative smoke exposure and current smoking each interacted significantly with female sex, aOR 1.02 per pack-year (p<0.01) and aOR 1.28 (p = 0.04) respectively. Female compared to male current smokers also had greater risk of asthmatic wheeze, aOR 1.53 vs. 1.03, interaction aOR 1.52 (p = 0.02). These interactions were not seen in age >= 53 years. Discussion: In addition to the increased risk of COPD and lung cancer female, compared to male, smokers are at greater risk of significant wheezing symptoms in younger age. This became clearer after adjustment for important confounders including cumulative smoke exposure. Estrogen has previously been shown to increase the bioactivation of several compounds in tobacco smoke, which may enhance smoke-induced airway inflammation in fertile women.
  • Bjerg, Anders, et al. (författare)
  • Increased prevalence of symptoms of rhinitis but not of asthma between 1990 and 2008 in Swedish adults: comparisons of the ECRHS and GA²LEN surveys
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: PLoS One. - 1932-6203. ; 2011 Feb:2
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: The increase in asthma prevalence until 1990 has been well described. Thereafter, time trends are poorly known, due to the low number of high quality studies. The preferred method for studying time trends in prevalence is repeated surveys of similar populations. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of asthma symptoms and their major determinants, rhinitis and smoking, in Swedish young adults in 1990 and 2008. Methods: In 1990 the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) studied respiratory symptoms, asthma, rhinitis and smoking in a population-based sample (86% participation) in Sweden. In 2008 the same symptom questions were included in the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA(2)LEN) survey (60% participation). Smoking questions were however differently worded. The regions (Gothenburg, Uppsala, Umea) and age interval (20-44 years) surveyed both in 1990 (n = 8,982) and 2008 (n = 9,156) were analysed. Results: The prevalence of any wheeze last 12 months decreased from 20% to 16% (p<0.001), and the prevalence of "asthma-related symptoms" was unchanged at 7%. However, either having asthma attacks or using asthma medications increased from 6% to 8% (p<0.001), and their major risk factor, rhinitis, increased from 22% to 31%. Past and present smoking decreased. Conclusion: From 1990 to 2008 the prevalence of obstructive airway symptoms common in asthma did not increase in Swedish young adults. This supports the few available international findings suggesting the previous upward trend in asthma has recently reached a plateau. The fact that wheeze did not increase despite the significant increment in rhinitis, may at least in part be due to the decrease in smoking.
  • Bjerg, Anders, et al. (författare)
  • The association between asthma and rhinitis is stable over time despite diverging trends in prevalence
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Respiratory Medicine. - 0954-6111. ; 109:3, s. 312-319
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Despite the well-known association between asthma and rhinitis, in Swedish adults the prevalence of rhinitis rose from 22% to 31% between 1990 and 2008 while asthma prevalence was unchanged. We tested whether the association of rhinitis with asthma was stable over time using the same population-based databases.METHODS: Two surveys of adults (20-44 years) living in three regions of Sweden, carried out in 1990 (n = 8982) and 2008 (n = 9156) were compared. Identical questions regarding respiratory symptoms, asthma and rhinitis were used. Asthmatic wheeze: Wheeze with breathlessness apart from colds. Current asthma: Asthma attacks and/or asthma medication use.RESULTS: Subjects with rhinitis had level time trends in asthmatic wheeze, current asthma and most nocturnal respiratory symptoms between 1990 and 2008, adjusted for age, sex, area and smoking. Any wheeze however decreased slightly. In never-smokers asthma symptoms were similarly associated with rhinitis in 1990 and 2008: any wheeze OR 4.0 vs. 4.4 (p = 0.339); asthmatic wheeze OR 6.0 vs. 5.9 (p = 0.937); and current asthma OR 9.6 vs. 7.7 (p = 0.213). In the whole population there were decreases in the asthma symptoms most closely associated to smoking, which decreased by half 1990-2008. Conversely current asthma, which was strongly associated with rhinitis and not with smoking, increased (p < 0.001).CONCLUSIONS: The association of rhinitis with asthma was stable between 1990 and 2008. The pattern in the time trends of asthma outcomes strongly suggests that decreased smoking counterbalanced the driving effect of increased rhinitis on asthma prevalence. The findings illustrate the public health benefits of decreased smoking.
  • Jerning, Camilla, et al. (författare)
  • Asthma and physical activity - A population based study results from the Swedish GA(2)LEN survey
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Respiratory Medicine. - 0954-6111. ; 107:11, s. 1651-1658
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Having asthma has in previous reports been related to a lower physical activity level. At the same time the prevalence of asthma among elite athletes is high. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between physical activity level and asthma. Methods: A postal questionnaire was completed by 25,610 individuals in Sweden. Current asthma was defined as having had an asthma attack during the last 12 months or current use of asthma medication. The participants were asked how often and for how many hours a week they were physically active. Results: In the population 1830 subjects (7.1%) had current asthma. There was no significant difference in the proportion of subjects that reported being inactive or slightly physically active between asthmatic and non-asthmatics (57 vs. 58%) while the proportion of subjects that were vigorously physically active (>= 2 times a week and >= 7 h per week) was higher among the subjects with asthma (6.7 vs. 4.8%, p < 0.0001). Being vigorously physically active was independently related to current asthma (OR (95% CI)) 1.40 (1.11-1.77)), wheeze (1.39 (1.17-1.65)), wheeze and breathlessness (1.68 (1.38-2.04)), and wheezing without having a cold (1.39 (1.13-1.71)). The association between being vigorously physically active and wheeze was significantly stronger in women compared to men. Conclusions: There was no difference in the proportion of subjects with a reported low level of physical activity between asthmatics and non-asthmatics. Health care professionals should, however, be aware of the increased prevalence of asthma and asthma-related symptoms in vigorously physically active subjects.
  • Bunne, Joakim, et al. (författare)
  • Increase in allergic sensitization in schoolchildren : two cohorts compared 10 years apart
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology : In Practice. - Elsevier. - 2213-2198. ; 5:2, s. 457-463
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Time trends of incidence of allergic sensitization are unknown and recent trends of prevalence and risk factors are lacking.OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence, prevalence, remission, risk factors, and time trends for allergic sensitization among schoolchildren followed from age 7 to 8 years to age 11 to 12 years.METHODS: In 2006, all children in grades 1 and 2 aged 7 to 8 years in 2 municipalities in northern Sweden were invited to a questionnaire survey and to skin prick testing to 10 common airborne allergens. The cohort was reexamined in 2010, with additional blood sampling for specific IgE. Participation rates were 90% (n = 1700) at age 7 to 8 years and 85% (n = 1657) at age 11 to 12 years. The results were compared with a cohort examined by identical methods 10 years earlier.RESULTS: The prevalence of positive skin prick test result to any allergen increased from 30% at age 7 to 8 years to 41% at age 11 to 12 years (P < .001). The cumulative 4-year incidence was 18%, while remission was low. Sensitization to pollen and furred animals was most common. A family history of allergy was significantly associated with incident sensitization, whereas the presence of furred animals at home was negatively associated. The prevalence at age 7 to 8 years and at age 11 to 12 years and the 4-year incidence were all significantly higher compared with the cohort examined 10 years earlier.CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of allergic sensitization increased by age as a consequence of a high incidence and a low remission. The trends of increasing incidence and prevalence among schoolchildren imply future increases in the prevalence of allergic diseases.
  • Hedman, Linnea, 1979-, et al. (författare)
  • Good agreement between parental and self-completed questionnaires about allergic diseases and environmental factors in teenagers
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. - 0895-4356. ; 63:7, s. 783-789
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • OBJECTIVES: To study whether the methodological change from parent to index subject as questionnaire respondent affected the prevalence estimates and risk factor patterns for allergic diseases in a longitudinal study.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective study of asthma and allergic diseases among children was begun in 1996 within the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden Study. In 2002, about 3,342 (95% of invited) teenagers (13 to 14 years) completed the annual questionnaire. A random sample of 294 (84% of invited) parents also completed the same extended International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. Skin prick tests were performed in 1996 and 2000.RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the prevalence of rhinitis, eczema, or related environmental factors between parental and self-reports, except for the question of having a dog at home. The absolute agreement was high, whereas the kappa values were fair or moderate. Kappa values of questions regarding parental smoking were 0.8-0.9. Allergic sensitization was the major risk factor for both rhinitis and eczema, and the odds ratios were similar regardless of who reported the condition.CONCLUSION: The agreement between the parental and teenagers' reports was good, and the methodological change did not affect the study results.
  • Bjerg, Anders, et al. (författare)
  • A population-based study of animal component sensitization, asthma, and rhinitis in schoolchildren
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. - 0905-6157. ; 26:6, s. 557-563
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Animal sensitization is a major determinant of asthma in children. Component-resolved studies of unselected pediatric populations are lacking. The aim was to describe sensitization to animal components and the association with asthma and rhinitis in animal-sensitized schoolchildren. Methods: A random sample of 696 children (11-12years) from a Swedish population-based cohort was tested for sensitization to cat, dog, and horse dander using ImmunoCAP. Sera from animal-sensitized children were further analyzed by microarray including three allergen components from cat, four from dog, and two from horse. The parents completed an expanded ISAAC questionnaire. Results: Of 259 animal-sensitized children (0.1 kU(A)/l), 51% were sensitized to all three, 23% to two, and 25% to one species. Current asthma and asthma symptoms following contact with cats were associated with co-sensitization to Fel d 1 and Fel d 4. This association was seen already at moderate-level sensitization (1-15 ISU) to Fel d 4, at which level most children were sensitized to Fel d 1, as well. In dog-sensitized children, the majority was sensitized to more than one dog component, and co-sensitization to Can f 5 and Can f 1/f 2 conferred the greatest risk for asthma. Sensitization to the highly cross-reactive serum albumins was uncommon and not associated with asthma. Conclusions: Among schoolchildren in northern Sweden, where mite allergy is uncommon, furry animals were the primary perennial sensitizers. Asthma was associated with higher levels of component sensitization, and sensitization to more than one component from the same animal conferred the greatest risk.
  • Bjerg, Anders, et al. (författare)
  • Increase in pollen sensitization in Swedish adults and protective effect of keeping animals in childhood.
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. - 1365-2222. ; 46:10
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: To date, most studies of the "allergy epidemic" have been based on self-reported data. There is still limited knowledge on time trends in allergic sensitization, especially among adults.OBJECTIVE: To study allergic sensitization, its risk factors, and time trends in prevalence.METHODS: Within West Sweden Asthma Study (WSAS) a population-based sample of 788 adults (17-60y) underwent skin prick tests (SPT) for 11 aeroallergens 2009-2012. Specific IgE was analyzed in 750 of the participants. Those aged 20-46y (n=379) were compared with the European Community Respiratory Health Survey sample aged 20-46y from the same area (n=591) in 1991-1992.RESULTS: Among those aged 20-46y the prevalence of positive SPT to pollen increased; timothy from 17.1% to 29.0% (p<0.001) and birch from 15.6% to 23.7% (p=0.002) between 1991-1992 and 2009-2012. Measurements of specific IgE confirmed these increases. Prevalence of sensitization to all other tested allergens was unchanged. In the full WSAS sample aged 17-60y any positive SPT was seen in 41.9%, and the dominating sensitizers were pollen (34.3%), animals (22.8%) and mites (12.6%). Pollen sensitization was strongly associated with rhinitis, whereas indoor allergens were more associated with asthma. Growing up with livestock or furred pets decreased the risk of sensitization, adjusted odds ratio 0.53 (0.28-0.995) and 0.68 (0.47-0.98) respectively.CONCLUSION: Pollen sensitization has increased in Swedish adults since the early 1990's, while the prevalence of sensitization to other allergens has remained unchanged. This is one plausible explanation for the increase in rhinitis 1990-2008 in Swedish adults, during which time the prevalence of asthma, which is more associated with perennial allergens, was stable. Contact with animals in childhood seems to reduce the risk of sensitization well into adulthood. One major factor contributing to the rise in pollen allergy is a significant increase in levels of birch and grass pollen over the past three decades.
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