Author(s): Valena LM, Restivo PC, Nunes MS
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To quantify the number of asthma attacks treated in the emergency room of a public hospital and to study seasonal fluctuations, taking into consideration the local climate, which is characterized by having only two seasons: a rainy/humid season and a dry season. METHODS: A retrospective survey was conducted in a community general hospital. A total of 37,642 emergency room consultations related to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, upper-airway infection or other respiratory complaints were registered during a two year period. The data from each patient chart were collected for later analysis. RESULTS: Among the respiratory conditions treated, asthma (24.4\%) was the second most common diagnosis. Most of the asthma consultations (56.6\%) involved children below the age of fifteen. Regression analysis revealed a seasonal variation in the number of asthma consultations, which was significantly higher in March (p = 0.0109), the low points being in August (p = 0.0485) and September (p = 0.0169). The correlation between climate and asthma was most significant in relation to changes in humidity, although the effect was delayed by one month (p = 0.0026) or two months (p = 0.0002). CONCLUSION: Visits to the emergency room for the treatment of asthma attacks were more frequent during the rainy season, increasing at one to two months after the annual increase in humidity and decreasing in the dry season. This positive correlation raises the possibility of a causal relationship with proliferation of house dust mites and molds.
This article was published in J Bras Pneumol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy