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Residing near allergenic trees can increase risk of allergies later in life: LISA Leipzig study
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  • Iana Markevych,
  • Romina Ludwig,
  • Clemens Baumbach,
  • Marie Standl,
  • Joachim Heinrich,
  • Gunda Herberth,
  • Kees de Hoogh,
  • Karin Pritsch,
  • Fabian Weikl
Iana Markevych
Jagiellonian University
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Romina Ludwig
Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, LMU Munich
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Clemens Baumbach
ENIANO GmbH
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Marie Standl
Helmholtz Zentrum München
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Joachim Heinrich
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen Medizinische Fakultat
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Gunda Herberth
UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research
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Kees de Hoogh
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
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Karin Pritsch
Allergens in Ecosystems, Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health
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Fabian Weikl
Allergens in Ecosystems, Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health
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Abstract

Background: We investigated whether residing in places with higher greenness, more trees and more allergenic trees early in life increases the risk of allergic outcomes, and whether these associations differ depending on the concentration of air pollutants. Methods: The analytic sample included 631 children from the German birth cohort LISA Leipzig. Asthma and allergic rhinitis, sensitization to aeroallergens and food allergens, as well as confounders, were collected prospectively up to 15 years. Greenness was assessed by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A tree registry was used to derive information on trees, which were classified into allergenic and non-allergenic. Annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone were also used. Geographic exposures were assigned to home addresses at birth. Longitudinal associations were analysed using generalized estimating equations. Results: Medium and high numbers (tertiles) of trees and allergenic trees in a 500 m buffer around birth addresses were associated with increased odds of allergic rhinitis up to 15 years regardless of NDVI. These exposures were also related to higher odds of sensitization to aeroallergens. Associations with asthma and sensitization to food allergens were less consistent. Effect estimates for allergic rhinitis were stronger in the high tertile of NO2 compared to the low tertile, while an opposite tendency was observed for ozone. Conclusion: We observed that early life residence in places with many trees, and allergenic trees specifically, may increase the prevalence of allergic rhinitis later in life. This association and its modification by air pollution should be pursued in further studies.

Peer review status:Published

Dec 2020Published in Environmental Research volume 191 on pages 110132. 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110132