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PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. To assess the relationship between exposure to traffic-related air pollutants and allergic disease outcomes in a prospective birth cohort during the first 6 years of life.
METHODS. A birth cohort of 3061 children in the Munich, Germany, metropolitan area were followed with serial questionnaires of their parents inquiring about asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Specific immunoglobulin E against common allergens was determined at the age of 6 years. Air pollution measurements were made for particulate matter ≤2.5 μm in diameter and nitrogen dioxide. Distances between the children's street address and the nearest main road were noted. Outcomes of atopic disease and allergic sensitization were compared with the children's exposure to the pollutants.
RESULTS. Positive associations were found between the distance to the nearest main road and asthma, hay fever, eczema,...