Journal List > Allergy Asthma Respir Dis > v.4(6) > 1101886

Kang, Yun, Choi, Oh, Min, Heo, Lee, Kim, Kim, and Kim: Evaluation of the association between pollen count and the outbreak of allergic disease

Abstract

Purpose

This study focused on the evaluation of the relation between pollen concentration and the outbreak of allergic disease (symptom index), and this outcome would be necessary to upgrade risk grade for the pollen forecasting system.

Methods

Airborne particles carrying allergens, such as pollen, were collected daily at the Seoul and Guri area by using 7-day Burkard samplers for 6 years. A total of 596 Subjects were recruited from Hanyang University Seoul Hospital (n=144 for spring, n=139 for autumn), and Hanyang University Guri Hospital (n=157 for spring, n=156 for autumn). Symptom index was evaluated and recorded by phone calling to study subjects daily or asking questionnaire when they visit outpatient clinic every week. Statistical analysis of data was performed by using correlation coefficients and regression models with time series graph.

Results

Two peak seasons of pollen concentration were May and September in Korea. In skin prick tests, the sensitization rate to ragweed pollen was gradually increased in children. In the same period, sensitization rates to airborne pollen, especially oak, birch for spring, and Japanese hop for autumn were increased annually. There was a significantly relationship between symptom index of allergic patients and allergic pollen concentrations in this study. Especially symptom index was significantly correlated to the concentration of oak pollen of day 1 in spring and to the concentration of Japanese hop pollen of day 0 in autumn.

Conclusion

Sensitization rates to pollens increased annually. There is a significant relationship between allergy symptom index and pollen concentration. There remains to confirm the Korean own risk grade of pollen allergy.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Sensitization rate to allergy pollen in this study (2010–2015).

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Fig. 2

The correlation between allergic pollen count and symptom (Sx) index in Seoul (1. March to 15. November 2013). (A) Allergic pollen of tree, (B) pine pollen, (C) pollen of allergic plants except pine, and (D) allergic pollen of weeds.

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Fig. 3

The correlation between allergic pollen count and symptom (Sx) index in Guri (1. March to 15. November 2013). (A) Allergic pollen of tree, (B) pine pollen, (C) pollen of allergic plants except pine, and (D) allergic pollen of weeds.

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Table 1

The contents of questionnaire to patients (symptom index)

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Question None A little Mild Moderate Severe
1. Nasal itching 10 20 30 40 50
2. Sneezing 10 20 30 40 50
3. Nasal obstruction 10 20 30 40 50
4. Rhinorrhea 10 20 30 40 50
5. Usage of antihistamine 50 - - -

If patients have usage of antihistamine because of their allergic symptoms, they are given 50 points as considering the severity of symptoms.

Table 2

Correlation coefficient between total spring pollen and symptom index (SI)

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SI Pollen Pollent-1 Pollent-2 Pollent-3
SI 1 0.080062 0.024321 −0.00169 0.00573
Pollen 0.080062 1 0.532246 0.387034 0.237386
Pollent-1 0.024321 0.532246 1 0.534655 0.389724
Pollent-2 −0.00169 0.387034 0.534655 1 0.542898
Pollent-3 0.00573 0.237386 0.389724 0.542898 1

t-1 indicates the day before symptoms occurred; t-2 indicates 2 days before symptoms occurred; t-3 indicates 3 days before symptoms occurred.

Table 3

Correlation coefficient between spring pollen and symptom index (SI)

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SI Birch Bircht-1 Bircht-2 Bircht-3 Oak Oakt-1 Oakt-2 Oakt-3 Pine Pinet-1 Pinet-2 Pinet-3
SI 1 0.061395 0.066825 0.058075 0.070378 0.195226 0.174946 0.144327 0.163774 0.161036 0.105343 0.070997 0.061421
Birch 0.061395 1 0.274508 0.10003 0.004464 0.211534 0.069572 0.000137 −0.00924 0.132264 0.02617 −0.06828 −0.04433
Bircht-1 0.066825 0.274508 1 0.27321 0.113785 0.078621 0.216363 0.073787 0.00594 −0.02015 0.139731 0.02634 −0.06342
Bircht-2 0.058075 0.10003 0.27321 1 0.266068 0.070208 0.083126 0.220503 0.079804 −0.02613 −0.01784 0.141236 0.029744
Bircht-3 0.070378 0.004464 0.113785 0.266068 1 0.023013 0.085982 0.112608 0.239206 −0.04458 −0.06464 −0.03231 0.092283
Oak 0.195226 0.211534 0.078621 0.070208 0.023013 1 0.416302 0.21252 0.143044 0.211599 0.018084 −0.11249 −0.12251
Oakt-1 0.174946 0.069572 0.216363 0.083126 0.085982 0.416302 1 0.416664 0.213938 0.061582 0.217449 0.020636 −0.10759
Oakt-2 0.144327 0.000137 0.073787 0.220503 0.112608 0.21252 0.416664 1 0.418006 −0.01575 0.06693 0.222669 0.025066
Oakt-3 0.163774 −0.00924 0.00594 0.079804 0.239206 0.143044 0.213938 0.418006 1 0.039384 −0.00731 0.077678 0.227809
Pine 0.161036 0.132264 −0.02015 −0.02613 −0.04458 0.211599 0.061582 −0.01575 0.039384 1 0.435787 0.301921 0.203481
Pinet-1 0.105343 0.02617 0.139731 −0.01784 −0.06464 0.018084 0.217449 0.06693 −0.00731 0.435787 1 0.439696 0.296002
Pinet-2 0.070997 −0.06828 0.02634 0.141236 −0.03231 −0.11249 0.020636 0.222669 0.077678 0.301921 0.439696 1 0.453492
Pinet-3 0.061421 −0.04433 −0.06342 0.029744 0.092283 −0.12251 −0.10759 0.025066 0.227809 0.203481 0.296002 0.453492 1

t-1 indicates the day before symptoms occurred; t-2 indicates 2 days before symptoms occurred; t-3 indicates 3 days before symptoms occurred.

Table 4

Correlation coefficient between total fall pollen and symptom index (SI)

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SI Pollen Pollent-1 Pollent-2 Pollent-3
SI 1 0.3263 0.3041 0.2527 0.2001
Pollen 0.3263 1 0.5344 0.4647 0.3896
Pollent-1 0.3041 0.5344 1 0.5363 0.4663
Pollent-2 0.2527 0.4647 0.5363 1 0.5075
Pollent-3 0.2001 0.3896 0.4663 0.5075 1

t-1 indicates the day before symptoms occurred; t-2 indicates 2 days before symptoms occurred; t-3 indicates 3 days before symptoms occurred.

Table 5

Correlation coefficient between fall pollen and symptom index (SI)

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SI RW RWt-1 RWt-2 RWt-3 AR ARt-1 ARt-2 ARt-3 JP JPt-1 JPt-2 JPt-3
SI 1 0.3101 0.2919 0.2593 0.2058 0.1131 0.1004 0.0614 0.0237 0.3355 0.3140 0.2646 0.2202
RW 0.3101 1 0.5259 0.4991 0.4576 0.3095 0.1157 0.1135 0.0807 0.7363 0.4998 0.4642 0.4168
RWt-1 0.2919 0.5259 1 0.5274 0.5002 0.2040 0.3105 0.1176 0.1147 0.4552 0.7372 0.5012 0.4658
RWt-2 0.2593 0.4991 0.5274 1 0.5287 0.2231 0.2056 0.3116 0.1186 0.4246 0.4570 0.7383 0.5029
RWt-3 0.2058 0.4576 0.5002 0.5287 1 0.1534 0.2245 0.2071 0.3120 0.3587 0.4259 0.4581 0.7389
AR 0.1131 0.3095 0.2040 0.2231 0.1534 1 0.3818 0.2308 0.1388 0.4245 0.2257 0.1645 0.1544
ARt-1 0.1004 0.1157 0.3105 0.2056 0.2245 0.3818 1 0.3831 0.2318 0.1791 0.4259 0.2275 0.1666
ARt-2 0.0614 0.1135 0.1176 0.3116 0.2071 0.2308 0.3831 1 0.3839 0.1435 0.1812 0.4270 0.2290
ARt-3 0.0237 0.0807 0.1147 0.1186 0.3120 0.1388 0.2318 0.3839 1 0.0899 0.1444 0.1821 0.4276
JP 0.3355 0.7363 0.4552 0.4246 0.3587 0.4245 0.1791 0.1435 0.0899 1 0.5270 0.4610 0.3946
JPt-1 0.3140 0.4998 0.7372 0.4570 0.4259 0.2257 0.4259 0.1812 0.1444 0.5270 1 0.5287 0.4625
JPt-2 0.2646 0.4642 0.5012 0.7383 0.4581 0.1645 0.2275 0.4270 0.1821 0.4610 0.5287 1 0.5297
JPt-3 0.2202 0.4168 0.4658 0.5029 0.7389 0.1544 0.1666 0.2290 0.4276 0.3946 0.4625 0.5297 1

t-1 indicates the day before symptoms occurred; t-2 indicates 2 days before symptoms occurred; t-3 indicates 3 days before symptoms occurred.

RW, Ragweed; AR, Artemisia; JP, Japanese hop.

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