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  • Clinical Research Article
  • Published:

Comorbid asthma is associated with rhinitis severity in children exposed to air pollutants

Abstract

Background

The impact of asthma on the severity of rhinitis when children with allergic rhinitis (AR) are exposed to air pollutants has not been studied.

Methods

Children with AR (65 with asthma, 208 without asthma), aged 6–13 years, were recruited from a hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, between 2007 and 2011. Correlations between Pediatric-Rhinoconjunctivitis-Quality-of-Life score, nasal peak expiratory flow, and air pollutants were compared. With the same age, research time, and form the same city, children with AR (660 with asthma, 3174 without asthma) were selected from a database. Correlations between clinical visit times for AR and air pollutants were compared.

Results

In male children with AR and asthma, both clinical and database studies revealed a correlation between higher rhinitis discomfort (quality-of-life score), higher visit times for AR, and higher PM10, PM2.5, NO2, NMHC concentrations. Correlations between higher nasal inflammation/obstruction (lower expiratory flow) and higher air pollutant concentrations were observed in male children with AR and asthma.

Conclusion

In children with AR, comorbid asthma was associated with increased rhinitis severity when they were exposed to air pollutants, and the association was only noted in males. Increased nasal obstruction/inflammation from exposure to air pollutants may be the mechanisms underlying this association.

Impact Statement

  • The influence of asthma on the severity of rhinitis when children with allergic rhinitis (AR) are exposed to air pollutants has not been studied.

  • In children with AR, the correlation between higher rhinitis discomfort, higher number of clinical visits for AR, and higher PM10, PM2.5, NO2, NMHC concentrations were only noted in those who also had asthma.

  • The correlation was only noted in male.

  • Comorbid asthma was associated with higher rhinitis severity when children with AR are exposed to air pollutants

  • The association was only noted in male.

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Data availability

The data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

S.W.H.: designed the study, interpreted the data, and wrote the manuscript. K.H.L.: contributed to the study design and interpretation of the data and reviewed the manuscript. S.M.C.: performed the analyses and contributed to interpreting the data. M.S.K.: designed the study, interpreted the data, and reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors have approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Min-Sho Ku.

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (ethics approval number: CS1-22040).

Consent to participate

Patient consent was not required because the study data had come from the chart review.

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Ho, SW., Lue, KH., Chen, SM. et al. Comorbid asthma is associated with rhinitis severity in children exposed to air pollutants. Pediatr Res 95, 1837–1842 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-023-02940-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-023-02940-4

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