Pollen exposure and hospitalization due to asthma exacerbations: daily time series in a European city
International Journal of Biometeorology
Springer Verlag for International Society of Biometeorology
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Exposure to pollen can contribute to increased hospital admissions for asthma exacerbation. This study applied an ecological time series analysis to examine associations between atmospheric concentrations of different pollen types and the risk of hospitalization for asthma in London from 2005 to 2011. The analysis examined short-term associations between daily pollen counts and hospital admissions in the presence of seasonal and long-term patterns, and allowed for time lags between exposure and admission. Models were adjusted for temperature, precipitation, humidity, day of week, and air pollutants. Analyses revealed an association between daily counts (continuous) of grass pollen and adult hospital admissions for asthma in London, with a 4-5-day lag. When grass pollen concentrations were categorized into Met Office pollen 'alert' levels, 'very high' days (vs. 'low') were associated with increased admissions 2-5 days later, peaking at an incidence rate ratio of 1.46 (95%, CI 1.20-1.78) at 3 days. Increased admissions were also associated with 'high' versus 'low' pollen days at a 3-day lag. Results from tree pollen models were inconclusive and likely to have been affected by the shorter pollen seasons and consequent limited number of observation days with higher tree pollen concentrations. Future reductions in asthma hospitalizations may be achieved by better understanding of environmental risks, informing improved alert systems and supporting patients to take preventive measures.
The research was funded in part by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Change and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and in collaboration with the University of Exeter, University College London, and the Met Office. The research was also funded in part by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for the MEDMI Project (MR/K019341/1).
This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record.
Published online 12 May 2017
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.