Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Respir J Suppl. 2003 May;40:64s-69s.

Nonallergic respiratory morbidity improved along with a decline of traditional air pollution levels: a review.

Author information

  • 1GSF-Institute of Epidemiology, P.O. Box 1129, D-85758 Oberschleissheim, Germany.


The tremendous decline of combustion-derived emissions of traditional air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and total suspended particles (TSP) in Eastern Germany shortly after German reunification in 1990 provided the unique opportunity to study trends of prevalence of respiratory illness along with the improvement of air quality. The present review focused on the results of two repeated surveys of nonallergic respiratory illness in children living in East Germany. The crude prevalence of respiratory illness such as lifetime bronchitis, otitis media, tonsillitis, frequent colds, and frequent cough decreased during the 1990s in East German children. For two surveys the effect estimates showed consistently statistically significant association of TSP with bronchitis. For SO2 statistically significant associations with frequent colds were also consistently found, whereas at least one survey reported higher statistically significant effect estimates for tonsillitis, otitis media, frequent cough and reduced forced vital capacity. The present study concludes that the prevalence of nonallergic respiratory illness in East German children is associated with sulphur dioxide and total suspended particles and that the improvement of air quality has beneficial effects on respiratory health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk