Impact of climate change on hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy

Scientists from the Departments for Preventative Medicine and Public Health, and Allergy and Rheumatology at Ajou University School of Medicine, San-5 Wonchon-dong, Youngtong-gu, Suwn, South Korea, have carried out the first epidemiological study to demonstrate the relationship between climate change, pollen and allergic patients. They looked at the association between meteorological variations and hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy.

The medical records of 4,715 patients who had skin prick tests between April and July from 1998 – 2008 were reviewed and those with tree pollen allergy were defined as those sensitive to more than 1 of 12 possible tree pollens. These were correlated to monthly means of airborne pollen counts and temperature levels, as well as patient hospital visits.

After adjusting for confounders such as air pollutants, the scientists concluded that higher temperatures could increase tree pollen counts, which affect the symptoms of people with tree pollen allergy, thereby increasing the numbers of hospital visits.

Source: BioMedCentral Public Health Journal

Click here for more miscellaneous respiratory research

First Published in November 2011

Top of page