Asthma primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Usama Talib, BSc, MD [2]


The primary prevention of asthma includes efforts to reduce all personal exposure to tobacco smoke, including passive smoke exposure, occupational dusts and chemicals and other indoor and outdoor air pollutants linked to asthma.

Primary Prevention

The primary prevention of asthma includes efforts to reduce all personal exposure to the following:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

  • Tobacco smoke, including passive smoke exposure
  • Occupational dusts and chemicals
  • Other indoor and outdoor air pollutants linked to asthma
  • Encouraging breast feeding
  • Avoidance and immediate treatment of upper respiratory tract infections
  • Close monitoring of low birth weight infants
  • Avoidance of maternal smoking
  • Weight control


  1. Pali-Schöll I, Renz H, Jensen-Jarolim E (2009) Update on allergies in pregnancy, lactation, and early childhood. J Allergy Clin Immunol 123 (5):1012-21. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2009.01.045 PMID: 19249083
  2. Greer FR, Sicherer SH, Burks AW, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Allergy and Immunology (2008) Effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: the role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, timing of introduction of complementary foods, and hydrolyzed formulas. Pediatrics 121 (1):183-91. DOI:10.1542/peds.2007-3022 PMID: 18166574
  3. Høst A, Koletzko B, Dreborg S, Muraro A, Wahn U, Aggett P et al. (1999) Dietary products used in infants for treatment and prevention of food allergy. Joint Statement of the European Society for Paediatric Allergology and Clinical Immunology (ESPACI) Committee on Hypoallergenic Formulas and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) Committee on Nutrition. Arch Dis Child 81 (1):80-4. PMID: 10373144
  4. Johnston SL, Pattemore PK, Sanderson G, Smith S, Lampe F, Josephs L et al. (1995) Community study of role of viral infections in exacerbations of asthma in 9-11 year old children. BMJ 310 (6989):1225-9. PMID: 7767192
  5. Jaakkola JJ, Ahmed P, Ieromnimon A, Goepfert P, Laiou E, Quansah R et al. (2006) Preterm delivery and asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 118 (4):823-30. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2006.06.043 PMID: 17030233
  6. Strachan DP, Butland BK, Anderson HR (1996) Incidence and prognosis of asthma and wheezing illness from early childhood to age 33 in a national British cohort. BMJ 312 (7040):1195-9. PMID: 8634562
  7. Gilliland FD, Islam T, Berhane K, Gauderman WJ, McConnell R, Avol E et al. (2006) Regular smoking and asthma incidence in adolescents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 174 (10):1094-100. DOI:10.1164/rccm.200605-722OC PMID: 16973983
  8. Polosa R, Knoke JD, Russo C, Piccillo G, Caponnetto P, Sarvà M et al. (2008) Cigarette smoking is associated with a greater risk of incident asthma in allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 121 (6):1428-34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.02.041 PMID: 18436295
  9. Weitzman M, Gortmaker S, Walker DK, Sobol A (1990) Maternal smoking and childhood asthma. Pediatrics 85 (4):505-11. PMID: 2314963
  10. Taylor B, Mannino D, Brown C, Crocker D, Twum-Baah N, Holguin F (2008) Body mass index and asthma severity in the National Asthma Survey. Thorax 63 (1):14-20. DOI:10.1136/thx.2007.082784 PMID: 18156567
  11. Coogan PF, Palmer JR, O'Connor GT, Rosenberg L (2009) Body mass index and asthma incidence in the Black Women's Health Study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 123 (1):89-95. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.09.040 PMID: 18980776

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