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Respiratory Diseases in Children

6. Which aspects of respiratory diseases require further research?

    The source document for this Digest states:

    Gaps in knowledge

    • Constituents of the indoor environment that impact on respiratory health of children. Focus on new building materials and agents used within the home.
    • Interaction between external and internal (home) environments.
    • European definitions of chronic childhood respiratory symptoms particularly bronchitis and asthma.
    • Evidence based reviews of environmental hazards possibly relevant to childhood respiratory health.
    • Important gene/environmental interactions and identification of susceptible population sub groups.
    • Medium to long term effects of exposures for respiratory health (Birth and child cohorts).
    • Effects of exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution at different stages of development."



    • We should recommend other TWG’s to look at Multicausality as this could form a good overall introduction to all diseases TWG’s.

    Research Needs

    • Development of appropriate biomarkers and methodologies for identification of individual genetic susceptibility to respiratory disorders.
    • Identification of genes associated with respiratory disorder manifestation and determination of polymorphisms in differentially expressed genes, which would predispose individuals to exacerbate respiratory disorders in the presence of specific environmental triggers and promoters.
    • Medium to long term consequences of exposures in early life.

    Indicators for environmental respiratory health

    • Genetic susceptibility data accounting for regional and ethnic differences in the EU population. This set of indicators would help identify "intelligent" cost- effective strategies for prevention of the onset and exacerbation of children respiratory health disorders.
    • Where is the evidence sufficient for public health action?

    Source & ©: EU   "Baseline Report on Respiratory Health" in the framework of the European Environment and Health Strategy (COM(2003)338 final), Section 9 and 10 

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