Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Centre for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Region Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Anna Bergström is Associate Professor in epidemiology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and head of the Unit of Environmental Epidemiology. Her research aims to advance the knowledge on how environmental and nutritional factors influence health during the first decades of life, in particular development of asthma and allergies. The majority of the research is conducted within a prospective cohort (BAMSE), where 4,089 children have been followed repeatedly from infancy up to age 24 years. Dr Bergström is one of the PI:s for the BAMSE birth cohort. Since 2019, Dr Bergström is a member of the Expert Committee for Nutrition and Public Health at the Swedish National Food Agency.
Dr. Bergström has a B.Sc. in biology from Uppsala University, Sweden (1991), followed by a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Sweden (1992), and a PhD in Epidemiology from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2001). She conducted a one-year post doc at Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US. After returning to Sweden in 2002, Dr Bergström started to work at the Institute of Environmental Medicine where she has developed her current line of research.
Fish intake may cause food allergy reactions, and around two percent of the European population report that they have fish allergy. Fish intake has also been hypothesized to have beneficial effects on the development of asthma and allergy. For example, the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in oily fish have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that could potentially reduce the risk of allergic disease. In this presentation, I will summarize the current evidence for fish intake in the etiology of asthma and allergies in children, and try to evaluate if fish intake is protective or allergenic. The influence of maternal fish intake during pregnancy, as well as intake in infancy and later in childhood will be reviewed. I will also discuss some specific methodological challenges in studies of fish intake and allergic disease children.