Yonago Acta medica 2012;55:4148
Influence of Asian Desert Dust on Lower Respiratory Tract Symptoms in Patients with Asthma over 4 Years
Masanari Watanabe*, Jun Kurai*, Tadashi Igishi*, Akira Yamasaki*, Naoto Burioka†, Hiromi Takeuchi, Takanori Sako§, Hirokazu Touge*, Masaki Nakamoto*, Yasuyuki Hasegawa*, Hiroki Chikumi*, Shingo Matsumoto*, Chie Yamasaki*, Sayaka Minato#, Yutaka Ueda#, Kazunori Horasaki#, Tetsushi Watanabe¶ and Eiji Shimizu*
*Division of Medical Oncology and Molecular Respirology, Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8054, Japan, †Department of Pathological Science and Technology, School of Health Science, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8053, Japan, Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Medicine of Sensory and Motor Organs, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8054, Japan, §Clinic of Respiratory Medicine, Obase Hospital, Miyako-gun Kanda-machi 800-0300, Japan, #Tottori Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science, Yurihama-cho 682-0704, Japan and ¶Laboratory of Public Health, Division of Biological Sciences, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto 607-8414, Japan
The Asian Dust Storm (ADS) aggravates symptoms and pulmonary dysfunction in adult asthma patients. Our objective was to investigate the association of air pollutants and metals in desert dust with worsening of asthma symptoms during the ADS. A telephone survey was performed to investigate the upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms, ocular symptoms and skin symptoms of asthma patients during the ADS in March between 2007 and 2010. Four surveys were conducted in 46 patients. Two patients noted worsening of lower respiratory tract symptoms in all four surveys, as well as 2 patients in three surveys, 7 patients in two surveys, and 9 patients in one survey. There was no worsening of lower respiratory tract symptoms in 26 patients. In each patient, the influence of the ADS on lower respiratory tract symptoms varied between surveys. In 2010, the level of suspended particulate matter was highest in all four years, but the smallest number of patients noted worsening of lower respiratory tract symptoms. Among pollutants, only the maximum concentration of nitrogen dioxide during the ADS was significantly associated with the worsening of lower respiratory tract symptoms. The influence of the ADS on lower respiratory tract symptoms of adult asthma patients is variable.
Key words: air pollution; Asian Dust Storm; asthma; lower respiratory tract symptom; telephone survey