Background: We investigated whether residing in places with higher greenness, more trees and more allergenic trees early in life increases the risk of allergic outcomes, and whether these associations differ depending on the concentration of air pollutants. Methods: The analytic sample included 631 children from the German birth cohort LISA Leipzig. Asthma and allergic rhinitis, sensitization to aeroallergens and food allergens, as well as confounders, were collected prospectively up to 15 years. Greenness was assessed by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A tree registry was used to derive information on trees, which were classified into allergenic and non-allergenic. Annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone were also used. Geographic exposures were assigned to home addresses at birth. Longitudinal associations were analysed using generalized estimating equations. Results: Medium and high numbers (tertiles) of trees and allergenic trees in a 500 m buffer around birth addresses were associated with increased odds of allergic rhinitis up to 15 years regardless of NDVI. These exposures were also related to higher odds of sensitization to aeroallergens. Associations with asthma and sensitization to food allergens were less consistent. Effect estimates for allergic rhinitis were stronger in the high tertile of NO2 compared to the low tertile, while an opposite tendency was observed for ozone. Conclusion: We observed that early life residence in places with many trees, and allergenic trees specifically, may increase the prevalence of allergic rhinitis later in life. This association and its modification by air pollution should be pursued in further studies.
FörderungenUnited States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Leipzig, Germany MarienHospital Wesel, Germany Pediatric Practice, Bad Honnef, Germany German Federal Ministry for Environment (IUF, FKZ) Commission of the European Communities, the 7th Framework Program (Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy [MeDALL] project) Forderprogramm far Forschung and Lehre (FoFoLe) - Medical Faculty of Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany Foundation for Polish Science European Regional Development Fund under the Smart Growth Operational Programme German Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology