Letters

Asthma epidemics and air pollution

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7046.1606a (Published 22 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1606

Upper respiratory tract infection and fall in atmospheric temperature may lead to attacks of childhood asthma

  1. Jeremy Hawker,
  2. Jon G Ayres
  1. Consultant in communicable disease control Birmingham Communicable Disease Unit, 45 Bordesley Green East, Birmingham B9 5ST
  2. Professor of respiratory medicine Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham B9 5SS

    EDITOR,—Adrian Bauman suggests that epidemics of asthma may yield clues to causal agents.1 We report such an epidemic in east Birmingham in 1987.

    Between 14 September and 7 October, 86 children meeting our case definition for asthma (reversible wheeze, reversible dyspnoea, or tachypnoea with wheezing) were admitted to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, a rate 3.58 times higher than that in the preceding four weeks and 3.44 times higher than that in the same period in 1986. There were 12 patients aged under 2, 37 aged 2-4, 26 …

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