Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Impact of meteorological variation on hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy

Si-Heon Kim1, Hae-Sim Park2 and Jae-Yeon Jang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, San-5 Wonchon-dong, Youngtong-gu, Suwon, South Korea

2 Department of Allergy and Rheumatology, Ajou University School of Medicine, San-5 Wonchon-dong, Youngtong-gu, Suwon, South Korea

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11:890  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-890

Published: 24 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Climate change could affect allergic diseases, especially due to pollen. However, there has been no epidemiologic study to demonstrate the relationship between meteorological factors, pollen, and allergic patients. We aimed to investigate the association between meteorological variations and hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy.

Methods

The study subjects were adult patients who received skin prick tests between April and July from 1999 to 2008. We reviewed the medical records for the test results of 4,715 patients. Patients with tree pollen allergy were defined as those sensitized to more than 1 of 12 tree pollen allergens. We used monthly means of airborne tree pollen counts and meteorological factors: maximum/average/minimum temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation. We analyzed the correlations between meteorological variations, tree pollen counts, and the patient numbers. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations between meteorological factors and hospital visits of patients.

Results

The minimum temperature in March was significantly and positively correlated with tree pollen counts in March/April and patient numbers from April through July. Pollen counts in March/April were also correlated with patient numbers from April through July. After adjusting for confounders, including air pollutants, there was a positive association between the minimum temperature in March and hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy from April to July(odds ratio, 1.14; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.25).

Conclusions

Higher temperatures could increase tree pollen counts, affecting the symptoms of patients with tree pollen allergy, thereby increasing the number of patients visiting hospitals.