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[Series] Risk factors for asthma: is prevention possible?

Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the world, resulting in a substantial burden of disease. Although rates of deaths due to asthma worldwide have reduced greatly over the past 25 years, no available therapeutic regimens can cure asthma, and the burden of asthma will continue to be driven by increasing prevalence. The reasons for the increase in asthma prevalence have not been defined, which limits the opportunities to develop targeted primary prevention measures. Although associations are reported between a wide range of risk factors and childhood asthma, substantiation of causality is inherently difficult from observational studies, and few risk factors have been assessed in primary prevention studies.