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Association between ambient air pollution and development and persistence of atopic and non-atopic eczema in a cohort of adults


Lopez, DJ and Lodge, CJ and Bui, DS and Waidyatillake, NT and Su, JC and Perret, JL and Knibbs, LD and Erbas, B and Thomas, PS and Hamilton, GS and Thompson, BR and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Dharmage, SC and Bowatte, G and Lowe, AJ, Association between ambient air pollution and development and persistence of atopic and non-atopic eczema in a cohort of adults, Allergy, 76, (8) pp. 2524-2534. ISSN 0105-4538 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 EAACI and John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/all.14783


Background: There is limited information on risk factors for eczema in adults. Recent evidence suggests that air pollution may be associated with increased incidence of eczema in adults. We aimed to assess this possible association.

Methods: Ambient air pollution exposures (distance from a major road, nitrogen dioxide [NO2 ], fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 m [PM2.5 ]) were assessed for the residential address of Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study participants at ages 43 and 53 years. Eczema incidence (onset after age 43 years), prevalence (at 53 years), and persistence were assessed from surveys, while IgE sensitization was assessed using skin prick tests. The presence or absence of eczema and sensitization was classified into four groups: no atopy or eczema, atopy alone, non-atopic eczema, and atopic eczema. Adjusted logistic and multinomial regression models were fitted to estimate associations between ambient air pollution and eczema, and interaction by sex was assessed.

Results: Of 3153 participants in both follow-ups, 2369 had valid skin prick tests. For males, a 2.3 ppb increase in baselineNO2 was associated with increased odds of prevalent eczema (OR = 1.15 [95% CI 0.98-1.36]) and prevalent atopic eczema (OR = 1.26 [1.00-1.59]). These associations were not seen in females (p for interaction = 0.08, <0.01). For both sexes, a 1.6 g/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure at follow-up was associated with increased odds of aeroallergen sensitization (OR = 1.15 [1.03-1.30]).

Conclusion: Increased exposure to residential ambient air pollutants was associated with an increased odds of eczema, only in males, and aeroallergen sensitization in both genders.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adults, ambient air pollution, atopy, dermatitis, eczema, middle age
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Air pollution processes and air quality measurement
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:146661
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2021-09-21
Last Modified:2021-10-13

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