Main content area

Airborne pollen in Córdoba City (Spain) and its implications for pollen allergy

Cebrino, J., Portero de la Cruz, S., Barasona, M. J., Alcázar, P., Moreno, C., Domínguez-Vilches, E., Galán, C.
Aerobiologia 2017 v.33 no.2 pp. 281-291
allergenicity, antihistamines, drug therapy, grasses, hay fever, longitudinal studies, olives, patients, pollen, questionnaires, spore traps, spring, statistical analysis, Spain
Pollen allergy is among the most widespread allergic disease in Andalusia. However, few studies have examined patient information in conjunction with data on airborne pollen concentrations. This paper sought to identify the airborne pollen types prevalent in Córdoba, to examine the relationship between airborne pollen and the occurrence of allergies, and to investigate the use of drugs to treat various symptoms displayed by pollen-allergy sufferers over the study period. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in Córdoba City between February and June in 2014 and 2015, using an original specific questionnaire to collect socio-demographic, symptom and pollen-allergy data. Airborne pollen was collected using a Hirst-type volumetric spore trap. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was applied. A total of 178 sensitive subjects were included in the study. The prevalence of allergy to olive, grass and plane-tree pollen was 70.73, 73.17 and 19.51%, respectively, in 2014, and 70.83, 70.83 and 21.12%, respectively, in 2015. In both years, rhinitis was the most common allergic symptom (93.90% in 2014, 87.75% in 2015) and a significant correlation between the occurrence of rhinitis and antihistamine consumption was found (p < 0.05 in 2014, p < 0.001 in 2015). The percentage of asthmatic subjects using an inhaler was significantly higher than those who did not used it (63.16% vs. 26.98%; p < 0.01). In conclusion, this paper supports previous studies showing that the most allergenic pollen types in spring were olive, grass and plane-tree pollen. In addition, we found that rhinitis was the main symptom and antihistamines the medication most widely used by the sensitized population in Córdoba.