About the Authors

Matthias Wjst

To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: m@wjst.de

Affiliation Gruppe Molekulare Epidemiologie, Institut für Epidemiologie, Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Munich, Germany

Shyamali Dharmage

Affiliation Department of Public Health, School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

Elisabeth André

Affiliation Gruppe Molekulare Epidemiologie, Institut für Epidemiologie, Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Munich, Germany

Dan Norback

Affiliation Department of Medical Science, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Chantal Raherison

Affiliation Service des Maladies Respiratoires, Centre François Magendie, Hôpital du Haut-Lévêque, Pessac, France

Simona Villani

Affiliation Università egli Studi di Pavia, Dip. di Scienze Sanitarie Applicate e Psicocomportamentali, Pavia, Italy

Jure Manfreda

Affiliation University of Manitoba, Department of Medicine, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Jordi Sunyer

Affiliation Respiratory and Environmental Health Research Unit, Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain

Deborah Jarvis

Affiliation Department of Public Health Sciences, Capital House, London, Great Britain

Peter Burney

Affiliation Department of Public Health Sciences, Capital House, London, Great Britain

Cecilie Svanes

Affiliation Det medisinske fakultet, Lungemedisin, Universitet I Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

All authors participated in the local study management, DJ and PB planned and organised the study centre. MW developed the hypothesis for this paper, conducted the analysis, and wrote the first draft of the paper following two working group meetings in Malaga 2003 and in Bergen 2004, chaired by CS. All authors participated in the local study management, commented on the analysis, and revised the paper.