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Table 1 Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Prevalence of Allergic Disease

From: Climate Change, Migration, and Allergic Respiratory Diseases: An Update for the Allergist

Climate Change Event Potential Environmental Impact Effect on Allergic Disease Prevalence
Increase in temperature Migration of stinging and biting insects into new environments, and increased population of existing insect species.
Change to crop patterns, with the potential to introduce new allergenic pollens into the atmosphere, and new food proteins into the local diet.
Earlier and longer pollination seasons.
Increases in humidity associated with higher temperatures will lead to increased numbers of cockroaches, house dust mites, and moulds, and, thus, allergen load.
Sensitizations to new stinging and biting insect species and to foods, with potential increase in cases of IgE-mediated anaphylaxis.
New pollen and mould sensitizations leading to increased prevalence and attacks of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma; longer pollen seasons leading to increased duration of symptoms.
Increase in precipitation and drought, leading to lower crop yields, damaged crops, food shortages and lack of work. Population migration. Development of sensitization to new allergens, leading to development of allergic respiratory and skin conditions
Increase in thunderstorms in Spring and Summer months. Thunderstorms cause pollen grains to rupture, increasing the levels of respirable allergens; also lead to an increase in ozone levels. Increased hospital admissions because of asthma.
  1. Sources. State of World Allergy Report 2008 [43]; D'Amato et al [32].