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Respiratory Diseases in Children

7. Conclusions

    Environmental factors greatly affect a child’s resistance to respiratory diseases.

    Particularly beneficial factors are good housing and nutrition, avoidance of exposure to cigarette smoke (both before and after birth), active encouragement of physical exercise in a clean air environment, avoidance of obesity, and good health care including immunization programmes.

    In prosperous countries, there has been a reduction in life threatening respiratory infectious disease and an increase in asthma and allergies. Many environmental factors thought to influence children's respiratory health remain unclear and sometimes controversial. This is especially the case with respect to asthma and allergies and further research is needed.

    Because it is expected that asthma and allergies will increase in a number of European countries in the coming years, further research is necessary in this area to understand the underlying factors such as the consequences of exposures early in life. More...


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