The influence of sensitisation to pollens and moulds on seasonal variations in asthma attacks

Cristina Canova, Joachim Heinrich, Josep Maria Anto, Benedicte Leynaert, Matthew Smith, Nino Kuenzli, Jan Paul Zock, Christer Janson, Isa Cerveri, Roberto De Marco, Kjell Toren, Thorarinn Gislason, Dennis Nowak, Isabelle Pin, Matthias Wjst, Jure Manfreda, Cecilie Svanes, Julian Crane, Michael Abramson, Michael BurrPeter Burney, Deborah Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No large study has described the seasonal variation in asthma attacks in population-based asthmatics in whom sensitisation to allergen has been measured. 2637 young adults with asthma living in 15 countries reported the months in which they usually had attacks of asthma and had skin-prick tests performed. Differences in seasonal patterns by sensitisation status were assessed using generalised estimating equations. Most young adults with asthma reported periods of the year when their asthma attacks were more common (range: 47% in Sweden to 86% in Spain). Seasonal variation in asthma was not modified by sensitisation to house dust mite or cat allergens. Asthmatics sensitised to grass, birch and Alternaria allergens had different seasonal patterns to those not sensitised to each allergen, with some geographical variation. In southern Europe, those sensitised to grass allergens weremore likely to report attacks occurred in spring or summer than in winter (OR March/April 2.60, 95% CI 1.70-3.97; OR May/June 4.43, 95% CI 2.34-8.39) and smaller later peaks were observed in northern Europe (OR May/June 1.25, 95% CI 0.60-2.64; OR July/August 1.66, 95% CI 0.89-3.10). Asthmatics reporting hay fever but who were not sensitised to grass showed no seasonal variations. Seasonal variations in asthma attacks in young adults are common and are different depending on sensitisation to outdoor, but not indoor, allergens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-945
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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