University of Oulu

Hyrkäs-Palmu, H., Ikäheimo, T., Laatikainen, T., Jousilahti, P., Jaakkola, M., Jaakkola, J. (2018) Cold weather increases respiratory symptoms and functional disability especially among patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), 10131. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28466-y

Cold weather increases respiratory symptoms and functional disability especially among patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis

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Author: Hyrkäs-Palmu, Henna1,2; Ikäheimo, Tiina M.1,2; Laatikainen, Tiina3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, University of Oulu
2Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital
3National Institute for Health and Welfare, Public Health Solutions
4Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland
5Joint municipal authority for North Karelia social and health services (Siun sote)
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-09-07


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.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
ISBN Print: 2018
Volume: 8
Article number: 10131
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-28466-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by The Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases, The Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation, Foundation of The Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association, The Ida Montin Foundation, The Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation, Orion Research Foundation and the University of Oulu strategic funds.
Dataset Reference: Electronic supplementary material
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