Association of allergic rhinitis or asthma with pollen and chemical pollutants in Szeged, Hungary, 1999-2007

László Makra, István Matyasovszky, Beatrix Bálint, Zoltán Csépe

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The effect of biological (pollen) and chemical air pollutants on respiratory hospital admissions for the Szeged region in Southern Hungary is analysed. A 9-year (1999-2007) database includes-besides daily number of respiratory hospital admissions-daily mean concentrations of CO, PM10, NO, NO2, O3 and SO2. Two pollen variables (Ambrosia and total pollen excluding Ambrosia) are also included. The analysis was performed for patients with chronic respiratory complaints (allergic rhinitis or asthma bronchiale) for two age categories (adults and the elderly) of males and females. Factor analysis was performed to clarify the relative importance of the pollutant variables affecting respiratory complaints. Using selected low and high quantiles corresponding to probability distributions of respiratory hospital admissions, averages of two data sets of each air pollutant variable were evaluated. Elements of these data sets were chosen according to whether actual daily patient numbers were below or above their quantile value. A nonparametric regression technique was applied to discriminate between extreme and non-extreme numbers of respiratory admissions using pollen and chemical pollutants as explanatory variables. The strongest correlations between extreme patient numbers and pollutants can be observed during the pollen season of Ambrosia, while the pollen-free period exhibits the weakest relationships. The elderly group with asthma bronchiale is characterised by lower correlations between extreme patient numbers and pollutants compared to adults and allergic rhinitis, respectively. The ratio of the number of correct decisions on the exceedance of a quantile resulted in similar conclusions as those obtained by using multiple correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-768
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014



  • Air pollution
  • Allergenic pollen
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma bronchiale
  • Patient number
  • Respiratory hospital admissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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