Cold weather increases respiratory symptoms and functional disability especially among patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis
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CitationHyrkäs-Palmu, H. Ikäheimo, TM. Laatikainen, T. Jousilahti, P. Jaakkola, MS. Jaakkola, JJK. (2018). Cold weather increases respiratory symptoms and functional disability especially among patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis. Scientific reports, 8 (1) , 10131. 10.1038/s41598-018-28466-y.
Cold weather affects the respiratory epithelium and induces bronchial hyperresponsiveness. We hypothesized that individuals with allergic rhinitis or/and asthma experience cold weather-related functional disability (FD) and exacerbation of health problems (EH) more commonly than individuals without these. This was a population-based study of 7330 adults aged 25–74 years. The determinants of interest, including doctor-diagnosed asthma and allergic rhinitis, and the outcomes, including cold weather-related FD and EH, were measured using a self-administered questionnaire. The prevalences of cold-related FD and EH were 20.3% and 10.3%, respectively. In Poisson regression, the risk of FD increased in relation to both allergic rhinitis (adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) 1.19, 95% CI 1.04–1.37 among men; 1.26, 95% CI 1.08–1.46 among women), asthma (1.29, 0.93–1.80; 1.36, 0.92–2.02, respectively) and their combination (1.16, 0.90–1.50; 1.40, 1.12–1.76, respectively). Also the risk of cold weather-related EH was related to both allergic rhinitis (1.53, 1.15,−2.04 among men; 1.78, 1.43–2.21 among women), asthma (4.28, 2.88–6.36; 3.77, 2.67–5.34, respectively) and their combination (4.02, 2.89–5.59; 4.60, 3.69–5.73, respectively). We provide new evidence that subjects with allergic rhinitis or/and asthma are more susceptible to cold weather-related FD and EH than those without pre-existing respiratory diseases.