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Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2004 Jun;55(2-3):221-8.

Allergic diseases in relationship with environmental factors in a population of school children in Zagreb, Croatia.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, Pulmology, and Rheumatology, University Hospital Sueti Duh Zagreb, Croatia.


Most scientists believe that increasing number of people with allergic diseases may be connected with some aspects of the "Western lifestyle". This paper discusses data obtained from questionnaires originally designed by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Steering Committee concerning exposure to different environmental factors. The study included 1047 children. Allergic and non-allergic groups showed statistically significant differences in the attendance of kindergarten, vaccination against pertussis, pertussis infection, and parasite infestation. Exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and exposure to dampness and moulds also entailed a risk for allergy. We speculate that changing some conditions, such as use of carpets and use of feather pillows, were connected with the expression of allergic diseases. Some correlations were consistent with earlier observations of other authors, while others differed and need further confirmation on a larger sample.

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